FAO-EU partnership

Private sector key to Voluntary Guidelines

Seminar on Guidelines for private sector organizations in Brussels

The private sector has been key to creating the concept of the Voluntary Guidelines, and it now plays an important role as a partner in their implementation, said  Rolf Hackbart, FAO’s Deputy Director, Office for Partnerships, Advocacy and Capacity Development during a seminar for private sector organizations on the Voluntary Guidelines on the Responsible Governance of Tenure of Land, Fisheries and Forests, held 9 July 2014 in Brussels.

The seminar, organized by FAO and hosted by the European Union’s DG DEVCO and DG AGRI, is one step in ensuring that the private sector is fully involved in the implementation of the Voluntary Guidelines, and that private sector views, concerns and ideas are integrated into the process.

FAO and EU senior experts on land tenure issues, as well as other representatives from the EU institutions and from EU Member States, attended the seminar, focused on a Brussels-based European and non-European private sector audience and aiming to present the Guidelines and case studies and initiatives related to the private sector.

According to Andrew Hilton, Senior Land Tenure Officer at FAO, it was an opportunity to initiate an open dialogue with private sector representatives to see how the guidelines can best be implemented. “One of the main points of the Voluntary Guidelines is to create an open dialogue with all stakeholders, particularly with the people who are affected by investments,” Hilton said.

Hilton noted that the private sector have been a critical partner in drafting and adopting the Voluntary Guidelines. Before drafting began, a series of fifteen workshops were held throughout the world, and private sector participants joined those initial discussions. Two additional workshops were held specifically aimed at the private sector, and the private sector was instrumental in adopting the Guidelines.

During the seminar risks and opportunities for the private sector were discussed, as well as options for collaboration between the private sector and other stakeholders and links with existing initiatives to create networks at global, regional and national levels.

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