Tetra Tech’s Nigel Thomson, a land lawyer and senior associate with our International Development Services group, presented to the European Parliament about registration and titling practices for improving land governance in April 2014.

The European Parliament conference “Property Rights: The Missing Key to Eradicating Poverty,” held in Brussels, Belgium, focused on property rights as a basic human right and provided a vehicle for poverty reduction and economic growth. In recognition of Tetra Tech’s leadership on global land tenure issues, Nirj Deva, member of the European Parliament and Vice President of the Development Committee, and Andris Piebalgs, European Commissioner for Development, invited Mr. Thomson to present.

“The biggest human rights issue facing land governance is women’s access to land,” Mr. Thomson said. “Women are often the primary workers on their land, yet they still retain little control of the decision making and remain the least literate with little understanding of their property rights.”

But things are changing. We are beginning to see the significant change that can flow from the joint titling of land by husbands and wives. “The evidence is mounting that women’s land rights improve the education and nutrition of their children and, furthermore, joint ownership of land empowers women,” Mr. Thomson added. “We see an improvement in women’s understanding of their land rights as a result.”

The European Parliament recognizes that more than one billion people worldwide suffer from insecure land rights. This insecurity contributes to poverty, decreased economic growth, food insecurity, and environmental degradation.

Tetra Tech’s Land Tenure and Property Rights Practice is a world leader in property rights programming and implementation. Our team works with donors, regional governments, and local organizations to develop local solutions to the complex land tenure and property rights problems facing the developing world. Project locations include Afghanistan, Burkina Faso, Colombia, Cote d'Ivoire, East Timor, Ethiopia, Liberia, Rwanda, and South Sudan. Tetra Tech’s land tenure projects address legal, policy, and resource issues concerning land and property rights.

Learn more about Tetra Tech’s international development services.