VGGT 5th Year Anniversary Technical Thematic Forum

05/10/2017 - 06/10/2017
FAO HQ, Rome, Italy

The Voluntary Guidelines on the Responsible Governance of Tenure of Land, Fisheries and Forests in the Context of National Food Security (VGGT) were endorsed by the Committee on World Food Security (CFS) on 11 May 2012. FAO, together with relevant stakeholders and partners, and with financial support of the European Union, is organizing a technical thematic forum on 5 – 6 October, 2017 to commemorate the 5th anniversary of the VGGT. This forum will be followed by a high-level event on Tuesday 10 October 2017 where the outcome of the technical thematic forum will be reported. Both events will take place in the framework of the 44th Session of the Committee on World Food Security (CFS).

Since their endorsement in 2012, significant progress has been made in the dissemination and implementation of the VGGT. Thus, there is a wealth of information and experience regarding VGGT implementation to build upon and draw lessons from, as we move forward to improving governance of tenure of land, forests and fisheries at regional and country level. 

The thematic forum will provide a platform for discussion and exchange on what has been accomplished so far, lessons learned and more importantly on next steps for further implementation of VGGT in the coming years. In this regard, the discussion will be forward-looking and it will therefore help inform the actions to be taken in the future to strengthen governance of tenure through the effective implementation and use of the Voluntary Guidelines. 

Participants in the event will be representatives of governments, intergovernmental organizations and non-state actors. The term ‘non-state actors’ refers to academia and research institutions, civil society organizations (including three main categories of member-based organizations, in particular small-scale food producer organizations and cooperatives, non-governmental organizations and social movements), and private sector entities (including philanthropic foundations).

Representatives of non-state actors wishing to participate can express their interest in attending the event by going to this link

Please note that:

•The deadline for expression of interest is 31 August 2017.

•Only those applicants whose expression of interest is accepted will be contacted by email during the month of September.

•FAO does not envisage being able to fund representatives of non-state actors to participate in the event. 

•The total number of places for representatives of non-state actors is limited - only one representative per single organization will be considered.

Criteria for participation

The scope and focus of the technical thematic forum include that it:

•Takes a multisectoral and multistakeholder approach.

•Explores the implementation and use of the Voluntary Guidelines aimed at promoting 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.

•It provides a platform for relevant stakeholder to share experiences, reflect on accomplishments and challenges, and identify the next steps for further implementation of the VGGT in the future. 

Common criteria for participation of representatives of the different groups of non-state actors should be that their work and/or mandate is relevant to the scope and focus of the technical thematic forum and that they are able to cover their travel and lodging costs and take care of related arrangements.

Specific criteria for the different groups of non-state actors include:

Academia and research institutions

•Type of actor (ensure that different organizations and research centers are represented).

•Geographic representation.

•Type of institution (preference will be given to those covering tenure rights and equitable access to land, fisheries and forests).

•Has recognized expertise in the areas concerned. 

•Be an accredited institution of higher learning and research. Enjoy academic freedom, institutional autonomy and has transparency in its governance and funding.

Civil Society

•Relevance to FAO’s mandate and to the scope/focus of the technical thematic forum: the civil society organization’s (CSO) mandate or work should be related to VGGT, food security and nutrition and is committed to FAO’s mandate to reduce poverty and eliminate food insecurity worldwide. 

•Representativeness: The CSO is representative of one or more specific sectors of the population who share common interests, with particular reference to the most vulnerable and isolated groups.

•Independence: The work of the CSO is autonomous and not subject to external influence. Its sources of funding are transparent and free from any stringent condition that could weaken its action and undermine its legitimacy as an independent actor of change.

•Transparency: The CSO demonstrates a consistent pattern of making decisions and implementing actions in accordance with internal rules, norms and regulations that are known and understood by all concerned. Adequate information about decisions and actions is freely and constantly provided in accessible ways and in forms that are easily understood by all concerned.

•A balanced representation in terms of geography, gender, age and constituencies represented, in accordance with the “Guidelines for ensuring balanced representation of civil society in FAO meetings and processes” will be sought.

•In general terms, priority will be given to people representing small-scale food producers (including farmers, fishers, artisans, pastoralists, indigenous peoples, landless, rural workers, with special attention to women and youth).

•In the case of cooperatives, diversity of sectors represented (crop, livestock, forestry, fisheries) and/or services provided (credit, processing, marketing, etc.) 

Private Sector

•Type of actor (to ensure that private sector associations/multinational/national companies are represented).

•Geographic representation (to ensure that all regions are represented).

•Type of business (to ensure that all sectors are represented).

•Relevance to FAO’s mandate and to the scope/focus of the technical thematic forum (preference will be given to actors that have participated in the CFS Sessions and previous events related to VGGT).