Committee on World Food Security

Making a difference in food security and nutrition

Voluntary Guidelines on the Responsible Governance of Tenure of Land, Fisheries and Forests in the Context of National Food Security

The Voluntary Guidelines on the Responsible Governance of Tenure of Land, Fisheries and Forests in the Context of National Food Security known as the CFS VGGT promote secure tenure rights and equitable access to land, fisheries and forests as a means of eradicating hunger and poverty, supporting sustainable development and enhancing the environment.

The CFS VGGT promote responsible governance of tenure of land, fisheries and forests, with respect to all forms of tenure: public, private, communal, indigenous, customary, and informal. Their overarching goals are to achieve food security for all and support the progressive realization of the right to adequate food in the context of national food security. While supporting efforts towards the eradication of hunger and poverty, the Guidelines are also intended to contribute to achieving sustainable livelihoods, social stability, housing security, rural development, environmental protection, and sustainable social and economic development. The Guidelines are meant to benefit all people in all countries, although there is an emphasis on vulnerable and marginalized people.

They also serve as a reference and set out principles and internationally accepted standards for practices for the responsible governance of tenure. They provide a framework that States can use when developing their own strategies, policies, legislation, programmes and activities. They allow governments, civil society, the private sector and citizens to judge whether their proposed actions and the actions of others constitute acceptable practices.

The CFS VGGT were endorsed at a Special Session in May 2012 and since then implementation has been encouraged by G20, Rio+ 20, United Nations General Assembly and Francophone Assembly of Parliamentarians. They are also used as a reference by donor institutions. In 2014 CFS held a stocktaking event to follow progress on the rollout.

The first Global Thematic Event (GTE) was organized at CFS 43 (2016) for taking stock of the use and application of the VGGT. The event confirmed that the VGGT have been widely used and applied in Africa, Asia, Europe and Latin America and Caribbean since they were endorsed by CFS in a Special Session in 2012, showing that Member States and many other stakeholders have been very active in contributing to their implementation.

In May 2022, CFS and FAO are jointly organizing a high-level event to commemorate the 10th Anniversary of the CFS VGGT. The objectives of the high-level event is to increase visibility and celebrate progress and achievements on responsible governance of tenure; critically reflect on obstacles encountered globally on the CFS VGGT’s uptake, political and economic challenges, and how to address them; and recommit to the CFS VGGT guiding principles, in terms of funding and political support.

Additional Resources

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