Introduction to Land Access

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Land Access refers to gaining access to a specific area in order to execute project work. Companies need to obtain and maintain access rights in order to proceed with planned activities on time. Those activities include temporary access for exploration work as well as long-term access for project development and construction. Land access is about planning for land requests, establishing a transparent and commonly recognised method for the valuation and compensation of all assets affected by a project, and delivering compensation as per the agreed procedure. It is frequently based on a recognised framework or standard, but in addition it generally includes consultation with community representatives

“IFC expects the project to compensate affected people for loss of physical assets, revenue, and income resulting from economic displacement or physical relocation whether these losses are temporary or permanent. If domestic law does not already specify such a framework, the project sponsor should establish transparent methods for the valuation of all assets affected by the project.” International Finance Corporation

Land access activities represent one of the most critical steps companies go through when developing their projects. Full project acceptance from the communities is required for companies to access the land, achieve their objectives and avoid delays. Efficient and well planned land access activities help companies obtain and maintain their legal and social licenses to operate. However this comes along key challenges such as understanding the land rights context, collecting field data and delivering accurate compensation to many people in a short time. Failing to do so in a structured way can lead to costs overrun due to fraud or extra payments and may result in operational delays and project closure

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