Land Resources

Land&Water Working Papers

Land and Water Division Working Paper 11 | 2014

Engaging local farming knowledge through a right - based approach to agricultural development

The purpose of this paper is to argue that agricultural development efforts should support the practical integration of different knowledge systems in various areas and sectors of agriculture to reach the sustainable development goals of a happier and healthier humanity and global environment.

Beginning with a discussion on some of some basic concepts around knowledge, land and territory, the paper will illustrate some of thedifferent ways of thinking of knowledge system processes as they relate to agricultural stakeholder rights. The paper then aims to emphasize the need forinnovative and inclusive participatory processes for engaging local knowledge users in order to diversify knowledge use and support sustainable natural resource management.

Land and Water Division Working Paper 10 | 2014

This document builds on the contents of some previous work done by FAO at normative and field level and aims at contribute to the implementation phase of the Voluntary Guidelines for the Responsible Governance of Tenure of Land, Fisheries, and Forests in the Context of National Food Security (VGGT) program.

It also indicates some concrete elements about this new professional figure and how it operates. In particular, this document proposes a one week training course in order to familiarize practitioners, development officers from decentralized government institutions, NGOs and CSOs, with the basic skills that are need to undertake these tasks.

Land and Water Division Working Paper 9 | 2014

A holistic approach to community based natural resource governance: The cases of Bie, Huambo, and Huila Provinces

This FAO paper issued from the Land and Water Division (NRL) aims to take into account the recent history of Angola in relation to its land tenure and natural resource management issues and the approaches followed to FAO’s continuous support and partnership with the government of Angola. A systematic methodological rights-based approach for land and natural resources management, founded on the principles of social dialogue and negotiation, have pushed the envelope as a paradigm change for what was once a purely technical, top-down approach to agricultural development. Now, with the launch of the FAO 2014 Year of Family Farming, this document provides an overview of the family farming sector in Angola and the on-going FAO land and territorial development activities.

Land and Water Division Working Paper 8 | April 2014

There are many different kinds of land and water rights, and many different kinds of rights holders. Land and water rights are social constructions that reflect existing power relationships and, as such, they sometimes lead to conflict. Today, social and technological change are occurring so quickly that societies are struggling to develop forms of social organization to cope with new challenges. Existing social structures cannot evolve and adapt quickly enough.


Land and Water Division Working Paper 7 | March 2014

The Welcoming Capacity Approach looks at an alternative option of improving the social relations of hosting communities and IDPs settled within the hosting communities, their territorial claims by investing in the analysis of post- conflict situations (soon after the peace pacts are signed), and seeking consensus through inclusive dialogue and negotiations processes by all the actors (hosting communities, IDPs, Humanitarian agencies/organizations, government and the civil societies etc) involved in post-conflict recovery and rehabilitation activities. 


Land and Water Division Working Paper 6 | September 2013

This paper looks at the relationship between rural producers and the land and water resources that they use, with a focus on the ways in which they manage, use, regenerate, and/or damage these resources and, at the same time, considers their knowledge and attitudes towards global problems that affect them locally.

Secondly, it examines how researchers, developers, planners, decision makers organize their approaches (material support, guidance, and/or scientific and technical directives) in response to the dynamic relationships between producers and resources. In particular, it looks at the ways in which external stakeholders balance their attempts to improve or modify rural producers’ every-day experiences with the need to develop more comprehensive solutions to global challenges.

Land and Water Division Working Paper 5 | June 2013


Participatory Land Use Planning (PLUP) has been gaining international recognition as an important tool for managing local resources. Participatory Land Use Planning is the systematic assessment of physical, social and economic factors in such a way as to encourage and assist land users in selecting options that increase their productivity, are sustainable, and meet the needs of society.

PLUP puts local users in the centre of interest, calls for the use of simple, low-cost planning techniques to foster active participation and to find a consensus among them. PLUP thus aims at making the best use of the available resources, both in the interest of achieving sustainability and finding effective compromises and solutions with available funds and capacities or defining what could be supported by external help.

The origin of this training workshop dates back to an initial request by some of the English speaking Caribbean countries in the course of 2012.


Documento de trabajo de la División de Tierras y Aguas 4  | Junio 2013

Durante la CIRADR, que se llevó a cabo en Porto Alegre, se pudo apreciar una vez más la importancia que revierte el método de trabajo, tanto en el entorno gubernamental como no gubernamental: diálogo, negociación y concertación son los instrumentos fundamentales para enfrentar los problemas ligados a los conflictos territoriales y a los recursos naturales.

Es importante, teniendo en cuenta estas consideraciones, iniciar una reflexión sobre las figuras profesionales que se pondrán al frente de la promoción de este enfoque metodológico. Esta publicación tiene por objeto definir mejor algunas características de los recursos humanos que se revelan indispensables si se pretende “contribuir” al proceso de convergencia progresiva y de colaboración entre los diferentes actores.

Document de travail de la Division des terres et des eaux 4 | Juin 2013

Lors de la Conférence Internationale sur la Réforme Agraire et le Développement Rural (CIRADR) qui s’est tenue à Porto Alegre, Brésil, Mars 2006, on a pu se rendre compte, une fois de plus, de l’importance que revêt la méthode de travail, à la fois dans les milieux gouvernementaux que non-gouvernementaux: dialogue, négociation et concertation constituent des instruments essentiels pour s’atteler aux problèmes liés aux conflits territoriaux et aux ressources naturelles.

À la lumière de ces considérations, il nous semble important d’entamer une réflexion sur les figures professionnelles qui seraient à même de promouvoir cette approche méthodologique. L’objectif du présent document est de mieux définir certaines caractéristiques des ressources humaines qui s’avèrent indispensables si l’on veut «contribuer» au processus de convergence progressive et de collaboration entre les divers acteurs.

Land and Water Division Working Paper 3 | July 2012

These guidelines intend to provide target users with the knowledge to establish an environment where all actors in a given territory are listened to, sensitized and empowered to speak (and negotiate) for themselves on matters concerning equal access for men, women, youths, the poor to land and territorial development. No one knows better than local actors the prevailing patterns of social, environmental, economic, demographic, institutional change that has been adopted in their region and the influence that these changes - details of local history, environment, socio-economic, indigenous knowledge and skills on land use patterns, social-cultural specific contexts and institutional practices - have had on the local development context, especially in terms of land access and territorial development requirements for women and men. Their expertise should form the basis for the design of any programme that aims to improve their livelihoods, and external actors should start from a clear, direct engagement with them.

ALSO AVAILABLE IN SPANISH : Guía para mejorar la Igualdad de Género en las Cuestiones Territoriales (IGETI)

Land and Water Division Working Paper 2 | June 2012

This paper is the result of a process that began a few years ago and reflects the path that has been followed since then: a path leading to the definition of basic principles about how to approach indigenous peoples’ territorial concerns, starting from principles in the International Community that govern fair outcomes. These principles are not only based on the different United Nations declarations and charters, but also on the concrete experiences of the participants to this discussion. The initial inspiration for this paper came from the Final Declaration of the International Conference on Agrarian Reform and Rural Development (ICARRD), held in Porto Alegre, Brazil, March 2006. 

ALSO AVAILABLE IN SPANISH : Una visión del tema de la tierra y el territorio orientada hacia los pueblos indígenas: Un enfoque posible

Document de travail de la Division des terres et des eaux 1 | Mai 2012

L'apparition du concept de territorialité, en matière de développement rural, n'est pas le fruit du hasard mais le résultat des bouleversements économiques et sociaux qui ont lieu dans les pays et du phénomène plus vaste de la globalisation. La territorialité répond à la nécessité d'adaptation des méthodologies, des moyens à mettre en oeuvre et des actions à entreprendre pour faire face à ces changements et à leurs effets indésirables. En outre, le concept de territorialité propose une image différente des questions liées à l'espace territorial et interpelle directement les populations rurales, de plus en plus souvent invitées à se prononcer sur de nouvelles perspectives quant à leur développement.

ALSO AVAILABLE IN ENGLISH : Dialogue, Consensus and Vision - Participatory and negotiated territorial development - More than a methodology - A strategy for territorial interaction and integration