Gouvernance foncière


How the VGGT have changed rural women's lives

Key strategies and innovations towards gender equality

Tuesday, 15 October | 8:30 - 10:00 am

Philippines Room, FAO

Side Event Title

How the VGGT have changed rural women’s lives:  Key strategies and innovations towards gender equality

Key speakers/presenters

Oumar Sylla, Head of Land and GLTN Unit UN-Habitat

Naome Kabanda, Head of National Land Policy Implementation, Uganda

Laura Meggiolaro, Land Portal Foundation Team Leader

Amy Coughenour, Chief Executive Officer of Cadasta Foundation

Main themes/issues discussed 

Gender equality is one of the ten core implementation principles of the VGGT. Key strategies and innovations that contribute to gender equality in agriculture and land tenure in the context of the VGGT were presented. Showcased and discussed how land tenure can address different needs and priorities for both women and men.

Among primary steps for securing women’s land rights in conflict were:

          Collection and analyzing sex disaggregated data on positive/negative  dynamics and data on women’s access to land

          Ensuring women’s participation in peace negotiations, land commissions and conflict resolution mechanisms

Uganda case highlighted how women strengthened their land rights under customary tenure once 4000 Customary Ownership Certificates issued to both women and men.

LandPortal described how data worked as a crucial tool to support community demands so that they improve their position at the negotiation table and be recognized by institutional powers. Also, when women interact with data proactively, it allows them to hold their leaders accountable and promote transparency in decision making.

Cadasta showcased how its approach and technological innovations support gender equality in agriculture and land tenure; Highlighted that technology should be used to enhance project goals, not to detract from them.

Summary of key points

This side event brought together a range of experts who illustrated efforts ensuring that women and men can participate equally in relation to land, through both formal institutions and customary arrangements for land administration and management. In addition, there was an effort to highlight initiatives that eliminate the gender data gap on land rights. The panel discussion identified the bottlenecks and discussed a path forward to create an empowering environment in which women's tenure security is recognized as playing a major role in the eradication of poverty and the achievement of sustainable development. The discussion also demonstrated how disaggregated data on land and gender can empower women and girls and contribute to increased food security and nutrition.

Ownership depends on legal rights to overcome social and cultural constraints, so establishing rules and regulations while involving traditional leaders, training women as land managers and ensuring that written materials have been translated in the local languages are all keys to success.

The Land Portal emphasized that people should be encouraged to use data when it is made available to them in ways that are open, accessible and easier to understand. When applied properly, data can be instrumental in settling conflicts and misunderstandings.

Key take away messages

The VGGT are fundamental in advancing the agenda of gender equality. Empowering women through secure tenure can reduce vulnerability, stabilize societies and foster peace building.

Access to and control of data is imperative. Digital literacy must be built and must be easily comprehensible thereby increasing transparency and reinforcing accountability. There is a need of adapting project approaches to stakeholder digital literacy levels and integrating gender into project design.

We cannot neglect a possible conflict among the data collected by different entities (i.e. cases in which during a demarcation there are multiple claims on the same piece of land).

Collaboration among stakeholders at national, regional and global level can support the achievement of SDG targets, and can determine how land monitoring initiatives contribute to tracking progress towards these indicators. Leveraging partnerships between the UN, non-UN Organizations and national actors is essential and the VGGT helps to facilitate this dynamic.


CLST and CFS Private Sector Mechanism (PSM) Workshop

Responsible Land Investment for Sustainable Food Systems

Wednesday, 16 October | 9:00 am - 14:00 pm

Mexico Room, FAO

Workshop Agenda

Responsible land investment (RLI) for sustainable food systems: Taking stock of lessons to implement the VGGT from recent pilots, partnerships and platform initiative with governments, CSOs and business

Thursday, 17 October | 8:30 - 10:00 am

Red Room, FAO

Department for International Development (DFID), UK; FAO; CFS Private Sector Mechanism (PSM); Deutsche Gesellschaft fuer Internationale Zusammenarbeit (GIZ); International Land Coalition (ILC); Natural Research Institute (NRI), University of Greenwich, UK

Event brochure

Side Event Title

Responsible Land Investment (RLI)  for Sustainable Food Systems: Taking stock of lessons to implement the VGGT from recent pilots, partnership and platform initiatives with governments, CSOs and business

Key speakers/presenters

                    Chris Penrose Buckley, Senior Land Policy Adviser at DFID – opening and closing remarks

                    Prof. Julian Quan, technical leader of the DFID Core Land Support Team, NRU, University of Greenwich – Moderator

                    Anna Locke. ODI, LEGEND Knowledge Management Coordinator: Key findings on responsible land investment from the DFID Legend programme

                    Christian Graefen, GIZ,  Germany and Alemayehu G/Selassie Atachew, Director of the Agricultural Investment Support Directorate (AISD), Ministry of Agriculture, Ethiopia: Experiences in applying the VGGT in agricultural investment in Ethiopia

                    Samuel Mabikke,  Land Tenure Officer, FAO Sierra Leone, and Victor Bangura, Acting Director Sierra Leone Investment and Export Promotion Agency (SLIEPA): Agribusiness investment policies and approval processes in Sierra Leone

                     Yonas Mekonen, International Land Coalition (ILC) The role of Multi-stakeholder platforms in monitoring  land investment and promoting responsible VGGT based approaches

                    Brian Baldwin International Agri-food network / CFS Private Sector Mechanism: Discussant

Main themes/issues discussed 

1. The principle lessons on RLI from analysis and practical piloting: i) timely identification of land rights issues; ii) prior documentation of legitimate land rights; iii) fair negotiation processes and community consent to investments; iv) independent, politically informed community legal support; v) mainstreaming lands issues in companies’ operations and business practice; vi) flexibility and inclusiveness in business plans and models vii) a systemic approach to building an equitable regulatory environment for land investments.

2. Progress by national investment agencies in Ethiopia and Sierra Leone in  strengthening systems and procedures for approval, management and practical delivery of responsible agricultural investments, applying VGGT principles, as supported by international partners (GIZ in Ethiopia and FAO in Sierra Leone)

3. The role and potential of multi-stakeholder platforms in promoting application of the VGGT to agricultural investments: positive results in bringing civil society voices to changing investment policy and practice in Tanzania and also in Sierra Leone; the scope for building a community of practice on MSPs for strengthening land governance.

4. Lessons for other countries and overall priorities in ensuring that investments in agricultural land respect legitimate land rights and strengthen rather than undermine the food and nutritional security of local communities.

Summary of key points

Results of an audience poll held suggest that three top measures to ensure that agricultural investments respect legitimate land rights:

1.  Stronger national investment rules and procedures: (70% response),

2.  Prior land rights mapping and registration of: (48% response),

3.  Greater investment in smallholder and community business: (37% response.)

Strong VGGT-based national systems for regulation of agricultural investment are essential to obtain full buy-in from the private sector. Multi stakeholder platforms (advocated by 35% of respondents) play a key role in enabling dialogue between governments, private sector and civil society. Strong and sustained engagement between governments and international partners can strengthen national systems; there are significant capacity challenges, but much can be achieved through a multi-level approach engaging the right stakeholders inside and outside government.

Audience members also agreed that for companies themselves, better due diligence, access to relevant skills, technical guidance and public support to responsible investment had roles to play.

Where land rights are undocumented and held under customary systems, sensitive and careful investment procedures guided by the VGGT, and strong political commitments by government are needed.  Limitations on the size of investments and investment in smallholder farming and inclusive agri-business arrangements are key to successful national systems.

Key take away messages

Stronger national systems for regulation of land investments are critical to ensuring more responsible approaches that respect legitimate land rights; however lack of land rights documentation is a continuing challenge especially in Africa. Donors and governments need to pay attention to both of these aspects in future planning.

Attention to responsible land investment is growing in the private sector and there is more that companies can do but to ensure the right approach by investors as a whole, including large and medium scale domestic investors strong regulatory and enabling environments are needed, supported by effective multi-stakeholder platforms and processes.

Application of the VGGT to land investment processes is essential to ensure they are responsible. This remains a critical ingredient amongst efforts to achieve SDG 2; we should continue to promote monitor progress and foster debate at future CFS meetings.

Many ingredients for responsible land investment are now in place, including consensus on principles, available guidelines and tools, and lessons of practical experience, and investors are interested in responsible agricultural investment if the right conditions can be created on the ground: funding and practical partnerships are now needed for implementation, reaching down to engage communities and other stakeholders on the ground.