JICA Ogata Research Institute

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International Experts Gather to Discuss Land and Property Problems in Post-conflict States at JICA-RI's Project Workshop

October 13, 2011

JICA-RI held the first international workshop for its research project “Land and Property Problems in Post-conflict State-building and Economic Development” in Tokyo on October 7 and 8. For this project, which commenced just this summer, researchers from Burundi, Rwanda, Uganda, Colombia, and East Timor engage in case studies of their own countries, and the research members including them gathered at this workshop for the first time to learn each case and discuss the directions for comparative analyses of their studies.


Among JICA-RI researchers, senior research fellow Shinichi Takeuchi and research fellow Mari Katayanagi made presentations on Rwanda and Burundi, and Bosnia and Herzegovina respectively. Takeuchi introduced the current conditions of land issues in Rwanda and Burundi. He explained that their land ownership problems have gotten complicated in both countries due to the historic background and the repatriation of refugees who were displaced during the civil wars in the 1960s and the 1990s. Yet, each government has taken a different measure to handle this problem, according to Takeuchi. In Rwanda, the government intervenes over distribution of lands, while in Burundi, settlements of land disputes are left to local communities. Takeuchi plans to look into how these approaches by the two countries will affect their peace-building efforts.


Katayanagi’s presentation firstly focused on the international community’s support to Bosnia and Herzegovina over protecting the rights of conflict-displaced people to return to their homes. She then explained that various property problems remain in the country, including issues such as: marginalization of the minority groups by the nationalistic authorities, and sorting-out of land and property rights that have been disarrayed in the transition process from the socialism to market economy in post-conflict circumstances.


This research project was launched to analyze the issues over land and properties in post-conflict countries from the viewpoint of state-building and economic development. Specifically, it aims to “clarify the actual situations of land and property issues after conflicts,” “examine the actions conducted for settlement of such issues,” and “observe the effect of those actions over the long-run peace-building processes.”


It is a common fact that an occurrence of a military conflict triggers disputes over land and property. These land issues, which are directly connected to people’s daily life, are critical from the “human security” perspective, and if inappropriate measures are taken, they could destabilize societies and consequently lead to a recurrence of conflicts. To address these issues, the research team will evaluate measures and actions taken by the governments of post-conflict countries as well as the international community in light of state-building and economic development, and will find out what is required to establish “positive peace” in post-conflict situations.


As part of this research, JICA-RI held a US-Japan joint symposium on “Natural Resource Management for Peace-building and State-building” in Tokyo on October 25. The event presented collaborative research results on natural resource management in post-conflict situations by the Environmental Law Institute, the Global Infrastructure Fund Research Foundation Japan, and the Tokyo University. JICA-RI researchers also joined the discussions and introduced the research analyses.


DayOctober 07, 2011(Fri) - October 08, 2011(Sat)
PlaceJICA Research Institute
OrganizerJICA Research Institute

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