A new book edited by Sara Pantuliano, Uncharted Territory: Land, Conflict and Humanitarian Action (ODI and Practical Action, November 2009), breaks new ground in addressing the land dimension to crises, including Sudan.
Land issues, particularly its access, ownership and use, are often central to understanding the dynamics of conflict and post-conflict settings, particularly in contexts of large scale displacement. The issues affect both the choice to return and the prospects for recovery, yet an understanding of these issues is minimal amongst the humanitarian community.
Although there is a growing recognition of the importance of addressing land issues, assistance and programming rarely incorporate sufficient analysis of local land relations, instead focussing on the return and restitution despite the fact that these interventions are often inappropriate for the type of land issues involved.
Through the expertise of longstanding academics and practitioners, this edited volume by the Humanitarian Policy Group attempts to bridge the humanitarian and land tenure divide to highlight their mutually important relationship and instigate a process that seeks to understand how Housing, Land and Property (HLP) issues can and should be practically incorporated into humanitarian responses in conflict and post-conflict situations.
The book is divided into three parts:
* Exploring the theoretical nexus between land, conflict and humanitarianism;
* Discussing the architectural challenges for a more integrated response; and
* Presenting the findings from selected case studies undertaken during the research project. These include Angola, Colombia, the Great Lakes Region, Rwanda and Sudan.