Land Resources

Technical Meeting on Land Governance and Social Protection

The technical meeting Land Governance and Social Protection will take place in FAO-HQs Rome on the 8 September 2015. About 25 participants are expected from different FAO Units and a small group of external NGOs/CSO.

The meeting will allow to present two scoping papers targeting different but complementary dimensions of the governance and social protection areas of work.

The first document provides elements for an answer to the following question: ‘If the declared objective of the Social Protection interventions is to reduce vulnerability and food insecurity, does it make more sense to invest money on widening the rights-based approach to natural resources, land in particular (in other words improving land governance), or in  social protection schemes?’. The second document explores the relations between three interrelated dimensions: gender, social protection and natural resources management. According to available data on poverty, the share of women living in poor and vulnerable conditions is higher than men’s in European countries, but it equals to men’s in most of the Latin American African and most developed countries. As said above, in order to take into consideration the global poverty dimension, some considerations about intra-household redistribution of income and responsibilities should be made. Women suffer from social and economic risks that are exacerbated in rural areas.


FAO is strongly committed to an integrated vision of social protection implemented alongside other more development focused programmes to boost agriculture and food security, with a focus on the rural poor. The main purpose of FAO’s Social Protection Framework is to serve as a basis for the provision of  more effective support to countries in delivering social protection to fight hunger, malnutrition and poverty in coherence with agricultural, food security, nutrition and rural development efforts.

Land, not only as a production factor but also as a resource in many instances, serves as an entry point for improving rural livelihoods, social status and economic empowerment for people (men and women, girls and boys). At the same time, land provides a “safety net” in times of financial hardships for the unemployed (men and women) migrating from urban to rural and within areas. However, gender disparities are evident in existing patterns of land distribution, especially across the developing world. Due to those inequalities in the access to and control over resources, women and girls are more vulnerable to external shocks induced by natural disasters, gender-based violence, unemployment, income variance, etc.

Vulnerable women face several economic and social risks during their life-cycles. To address those vulnerabilities and improve sustainable and equitable livelihoods, a broad gender-sensitive approach is needed. Transformative Social Protection (TSP) framework seeks to enhance socioeconomic rights, addressing concerns of social equity and exclusion through social inclusion and empowerment. This paper explores the impact of Social Protection’s transformative element on territorial development and gender equality by analyzing the linkages between these dimensions:

  • Social Protection;
  • Gender;
  • Territorial Development and Natural Resource Management;
  • Poverty reduction and Food Security.


About 25 participants are expected from different FAO Units and a small group of external NGOs/CSOs:


  • SO1: VGGTs group (NRC-OPC)
  • SO3:  

3.3. Social Protection (ESP/ESA)

1.2. Pro-poor approaches / sustainable use/management natural resources and

1.5. Gender dimensions

  • SO5: Disaster Risk Reduction and Disaster Risk Management / Protracted Crisis Group
  • Transversal group: Governance


  • Ruben Villanueva, Senior Social Protection Consultant, The World Bank
  • Chris Tanner, Senior Land Policy Specialist, former CTA FAO Land Programme Mozambique
  • Marianna Bicchieri, Land Tenure Officer, RAP
  • NGOs/CSOs