Recognition and allocation of rights

Legal recognition and allocation of tenure rights

Management of state-owned agricultural land

The Former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia is developing a system to improve the management of state-owned agricultural land. FAO is supporting the Ministry of Agriculture, Forestry and Water Economy to design and set-up a property information management system, to develop capacities and to provide recommendations for strategies, policies and legal frameworks dealing with the management of state-owned agricultural land.

Recognition and allocation of customary tenure rights

Mozambique adopted a new land policy and land law in the 1990s with the technical assistance of FAO, which recognizes customary tenure on par with formally allocated land use permits (DUATs by the Portuguese acronym). Currently, FAO is supporting capacity development at different levels on the application of the land law and related laws for sustainable and equitable rural development, paying particular attention to women’s rights to land, and is also supporting the newly established Consultative Forum on Land.

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Recognition and allocation of rights in fisheries

All fisheries, traditional or modern, operate under some form of use right materialized in the right of access to fishery resources in a particular area under certain conditions. The right may be general (as the right to harvest high seas resources imbedded in the 1982 United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea (UNCLOS)) or very specific (as the right to harvest a certain amount of fish of a particular species in a particular area in a given period of time). They may have a historical foundation (historical rights) or a more formal one (such as the sovereign rights of coastal States on Exclusive Economic Zone (EEZ) resources). They may be area-based (e.g. territorial use rights) or resource-based.

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Recognition and allocation of forestry rights

The dominant forest tenure regimes where the state retains absolute control over forest resources have not been very successful at achieving sustainable forest management, poverty reduction or improved livelihoods. Many countries now recognize that a shift towards more diverse tenure arrangements that offer security to local communities, Indigenous peoples and other forest users is one of the pre-requisites to achieve sustainable forest management and improved livelihoods.

FAO is strengthening country capacities to undertake forest tenure reforms and improve forest governance. For this purpose a practical capacity development module has recently been developed and put in practice in Vietnam.

An EU - funded field project is supporting the reform of forest tenure in China’s collective forests through strengthening policies, laws and institutions responsible for the management of collective forests in six pilot provinces.

A series of regional studies have been carried out to understand the forest tenure situation in the developing regions of the world and enable targeted advocacy and technical advice to governments.

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FAO - Climate, Energy and Tenure Division (NRC)
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00153 Rome, Italy