Land Tenure Journal, No 1 (2012)

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Fostering a new global consensus. The Voluntary Guidelines on the Governance of Tenure

David Palmer, Mika-Petteri Törhönen, Paul Munro-Faure, Anni Arial


This is the second in a series of four papers on the Voluntary Guidelines on the Governance of Tenure. This paper presents the preparation of the Guidelines. The first paper provides an overview of the Guidelines and briefly describes tenure and the need for the Guidelines. The third paper describes why the tenure of land, fisheries and forests is the focus of the Guidelines, and the fourth one addresses the implementation of the Guidelines.

The Guidelines were developed through a broad global partnership of international, regional and national organizations of different types that work together to achieve global changes in governance of tenure. The development followed an inclusive process involving a series of consultations and negotiations bringing together government representatives, civil society organizations, private sector actors, international organizations and members of academia.

The Guidelines were officially endorsed by the Committee on World Food Security (CFS) in May 2012. They are the first comprehensive global instrument on governance of tenure and its administration to be prepared through intergovernmental negotiations. This new consensus is complementary to agreements on aspects of tenure that were reached in earlier international instruments but is far more comprehensive.

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