Land tenure working paper 10 - Discussion paper


Towards volontary guidelines on responsible
governance of tenure of land and other
natural resources

Discussion paper

PDF 238Kb

Rome, 2009

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This discussion paper has been prepared by FAO’s Land Tenure and Management Unit to seek views and comments on voluntary guidelines on responsible governance of tenure of land and other natural resources. Weak governance of tenure results in the loss of life and livelihoods; it deters investment and widespread economic growth and discourages the sustainable use of natural resources. In contrast, responsible governance of tenure ensures that relevant policies and rules lead to sustainable, beneficial results, and that related services are delivered efficiently, effectively and equitably. Responsible governance is not confined to statutory tenure (e.g. private and public ownership and other rights and responsibilities) but it recognizes as well customary and common property tenures. It is anticipated that voluntary guidelines will help countries to improve the governance of tenure. FAO has been working on governance of tenure since 2005 with generous support from the Government of Finland (see for example FAO Land Tenure Studies 9: “Good governance in land tenure and administration”) The work of FAO and its partners, including UN-Habitat, the World Bank, IFAD, individual countries, and civil society, has shown that there is a growing and widespread interest in voluntary guidelines that can be adopted at the international level and implemented by countries.

This paper presents examples of what might be contained in voluntary guidelines on the governance of tenure, but it is not a draft proposal of such voluntary guidelines. It is intended to stimulate discussion at workshops and other meetings in order to identify what should be in a draft proposal of the voluntary guidelines. The voluntary guidelines will be prepared through a participatory process involving international organizations, governments and civil society.

© FAO 2009