FAO in Namibia

FAO trains Namibian Parliamentarians on VGGTs


FAO recently conducted a three day training session for members of the Namibian Parliament and senior officials from relevant Ministries engaged in the governance of land tenure from 11-13 June 2019, in the National Assembly Chambers. Facilitated by land governance and tenure experts from FAO’s Sub Regional Office for East Africa, the training provided an introduction to the Voluntary Guidelines on the Responsible Governance of Tenure of Land, Fisheries and Forests in the Context of National Food Security (VGGTs).

VGGTS Empower Communities

The VGGTs promote responsible governance of tenure of land, fisheries and forests, with respect to all forms of tenure i.e. 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. The governance of tenure is a crucial element in determining if and how people, communities and others are able to acquire rights, and associated duties, to use and control land, fisheries and forests.

At the official opening of the training, attended by the media, the FAO Representative in Namibia, Farayi Zimudzi noted that “The VGGTs are an international instrument that can be used by many different actors to improve the governance of tenure of land, fisheries and forests.They serve as a reference and set out principles and internationally accepted standards for the practices of responsible governance of tenure.”

The Deputy Speaker of the National Assembly Hon. Loide Kasingo in her welcoming remarks stated the need for lawmakers to learn about the VGGT and further be exposed to best practice in the implementation. During the three days the participants received presentations, resources and opportunity to engage in order to deepen their understanding on the practical applications of the VGGT.

Linkages to the Second National Land Conference

The training ended with a presentation on linking the VGGT to the resolutions of the Second National Land Conference – held in October 2018, which brought to the fore key issues such as challenges and resource gaps. The Minister of Agriculture Water and Forestry, in remarks made on his behalf by the Executive Director, Mr. Percy Misika, stated that, “The capacity development workshop has shed a lot of light on global experience on governance of tenure of land, fisheries and forests and provided important insights into how the principles of the VGGT can be used to enhance law-making, budgetary and oversight roles of parliament with regards to governance of tenure.”

The official closing was done by Hon. Pendukeni Ithana-Ivula (MP) on behalf of the Speaker of the National Assembly, who stated that, “The VGGTs serve as a reference, set out principles and internationally accepted standards and practices for responsible governance of tenure. We will therefore critically study the provisions of the VGGTs, adapt and apply them to our situation.”

FAO Namibia has committed to support regional initiatives to establish a Parliamentary Forum that will work with member states to address climate change and other natural disaster that impact on food security.  Based on the recommendations of the training, FAO Namibia is now working on translating the VGGTs into local languages and preparing to deliver similar training on an ongoing basis to new Parliamentarians, as well as Traditional Authorities.