Official Blog of the Latin American, Caribbean and Iberian Studies Program at the University of Wisconsin-Madison

Land Tenure Center Celebrates 50 years of International Development Work

“The Land Tenure Center, the first U.S. Agency for International Development sponsored program at UW-Madison, will celebrate its 50th anniversary on Saturday, April 28, and Sunday morning, April 29, 2012.  The program includes a public forum and anniversary dinner on Saturday, April 28, and Sunday morning panel discussion on April 29. Newly appointed CALS dean Kathryn VandenBosch will welcome visitors to the event.

The Land Tenure Center was established in 1962 with funding from the Kennedy administration’s U.S.-Latin American initiative called the Alliance for Progress. Raymond J Penn, professor of Agricultural and Applied Economics and a leading institutional economist, was the founding director. The first major overseas program centers were in Chile and Colombia with additional projects in Brazil, Bolivia and Central America. Research and training programs were extended later to Africa, parts of Asia, Eastern Europe and newly independent states of the former Soviet Union.

When the Land Tenure Center was established in 1962, it provided a fresh approach to international development  research and policy analysis. Most early development programs were focused on Green Revolution technologies aimed at increasing food production. The Land Tenure Center provided a critical missing link by addressing institutional and structural changes that opened the way to broad-based, sustainable, development. It gave priority to tenure issues involving land and resource access and use.  The Center also strengthened local organizations and institutions necessary to support cooperative marketing, credit services, improved technologies, and technical assistance and education for the majority of producers.

The Land Tenure Center is now part of the Nelson Institute for Environmental Studies located in Science Hall. Stephen Venura, professsor of Soil Science and the Nelson Institute, is the current director.”

LACIS was a co-sponsor of the Land Tenure Center’s 50-year anniversary celebration and Alberto Vargas, Associate Director of LACIS, was on the event’s planning committee.

Information posted here is from the eCALS website of the College of Agricultural and Life Sciences: click here to be directed to their website and the complete article about the Land Tenure Center Celebration.

Click here to go to the Nelson Institute’s Land Tenure Center website.

Click here to read the January 2012 report – Lessons about Land Tenure, Forest Governance and REDD+: Case Studies from Africa, Asia, and Latin America. The report was edited by Lisa Naughton-Treves, a UW-Madison professor of geography and faculty affiliate of the Nelson Institute Land Tenure Center, and Cathy Day, a Ph.D. candidate with the UW-Madison Department of Geography.