RIO DE JANEIRO (Thomson Reuters Foundation) - Centuries-old traditions that led to 430 people owning half of Scotland's privately held land are soon to become history as local communities seek to double their ownership in the nation known for its rugged landscape, sheep, and fine whisky.
While inequality of land ownership is more often associated with developing nations, Scotland embarked on a campaign to ensure land was an asset for the many, not the few, with a landmark bill introduced to the Scottish parliament in 2015.
The move came amid growing tension over the dominance of large, often absent, land-owners whose hold over the country dates back to an era when Scotland was a largely agricultural nation run by the wealthy gentry.
"This is about local communities taking control over their own destiny from absentee landlords," Peter Peacock, a former member of the Scottish parliament, campaigner and co-author of a briefing paper on the reforms, told the Thomson Reuters Foundation.
"Scotland's land grabs took place a couple of hundred years ago ... now communities are trying to get some balance of ownership."