Governance of Tenure

Governance of tenure newsletter

01 March 2015

Uganda pictures A pilot project to support local authorities in issuing customary certificates of occupancy in the Kasese District was launched on 31 January. Its objective is to contribute to security of tenure, especially for the poor, vulnerable and marginalized groups with a specific focus on women, girls and the youth.

More than 150 people from the Kasese District and its 29 sub-counties and the Ministry of Lands, Housing and Urban Development attended the launch, with the participants representing local/traditional leaders, the District Land Board, Area Land Committees, religious and cultural institutions, civil society organizations and Government.

The project is being implemented by FAO in collaboration with the Ministry, Kasese District and Makerere University, and with financial support from the UK Department for International Development.       


National Workshops in Gabon and Uganda

Gabon pictures


Gabon pictures The Voluntary Guidelines were presented at a national awareness raising workshop in Libreville during 14-16 January. The workshop helped to strengthen the national dialogue on the most pressing tenure challenges and opportunities in Gabon and the use of the Voluntary Guidelines in light of ongoing reforms. As one of the world’s most biodiverse countries, Gabon’s future agricultural production, forest management and environmental protection can benefit from a renewed momentum to implement the national land management and land allocation plans. The participants agreed to create a multi-sectoral committee to continue striving for improved governance of tenure and to formulate a cross-sectoral strategy for implementing the Voluntary Guidelines in Gabon at all levels.

The workshop was co-organized by the Ministry of Agriculture, Livestock, Fisheries and Food Security, the General Secretariat of the Government of Gabon and FAO.

It brought together 75 representatives from the national tenure administration, farmers' organizations, civil society, international organizations, the private sector, NGOs and academia. Funding was provided by FAO.


Around 60 participants attended the first of a series of national workshops on the Voluntary Guidelines in Kampala during 27-29 January. The workshop raised awareness on the Voluntary Guidelines and promoted discussions on how they can be applied to improve governance of tenure in Uganda. Participants formulated recommendations on the way forward in the form of a declaration, which was officially presented to the Minister of Lands, Housing and Urban Development, Hon. Mr. Daudi Migereko, during the closing ceremony. They also shared individual and organizational commitments, which will be used as a starting basis for the implementation of the Voluntary Guidelines in Uganda.

The participants represented most sectors of society, including national and local governments, civil society, private sector and academia. The workshop was organized by the Ministry of Lands, Housing and Urban Development in collaboration with FAO and with support from the UK Department for International Development. 

The Voluntary Guidelines as an instrument for Indigenous Peoples

The Voluntary Guidelines as an instrument for Indigenous Peoples

The Voluntary Guidelines as an instrument for Indigenous Peoples Over 20 indigenous peoples’ representatives and experts discussed the role of indigenous peoples in the implementation of the Voluntary Guidelines at a meeting hosted by FAO in Rome, Italy, during 2-3 February. They affirmed the urgency of putting the Voluntary Guidelines into practice to protect and strengthen the tenure rights of indigenous peoples around the world and they highlighted the importance of monitoring and evaluating the efforts of implementation.

The participants agreed on a series of actions to take for safeguarding indigenous peoples’ rights and on establishing collaborative linkages between indigenous peoples and FAO, including setting up a crosscutting working group on Indigenous Food Systems.

FAO Director-General, Jose Graziano da Silva, made an appeal for the dissemination of the Voluntary Guidelines in various languages, including indigenous languages, to increase progress in their implementation and highlighted the key role of indigenous peoples in the struggle for food security and sustainable development.

The meeting was on “Indigenous Food Systems, Agroecology and the Voluntary Guidelines on the Responsible Governance of Tenure of Land, Fisheries and Forests in the Context of National Food Security”.    

World Bank Conference on Land and Poverty 2015 COMING UP

The Voluntary Guidelines will feature at the World Bank Conference on Land and Poverty during 23-27 March in Washington DC, USA. This year’s theme is Linking Land Tenure and Use for Shared Prosperity. Representatives from governments, civil society, academia, the development community, and the private sector will discuss themes such as land policy and implementation as well as innovative approaches to improving land governance.

The most recent Voluntary Guidelines publications will be available at the FAO booth and conference participants can see demonstrations on Open Tenure and SOLA open source software for land administration. Papers will be presented on enabling technology, legal empowerment and access to justice, the role of lawyers, tenure and REDD+, and gender and inclusive land service delivery and governance in the United Nations Economic Commission for Europe (UNECE) region. A special session is on “Shared prosperity and the Voluntary Guidelines” and there are masterclasses on enabling technology and the Voluntary Guidelines. Open Tenure and SOLA can also be seen at the Innovations Fair.

The Conference programme COMING UP

Tenure & Fishing Rights 2015

Millions of people depend on sustainable fisheries resources for their livelihoods but this sustainability is threatened by the combination of population growth and rising demands for fisheries resources. These challenges are being addressed at UserRights 2015, an event on Tenure & Fishing Rights 2015: a global forum on rights-based approaches for fisheries. It takes place in Siem Reap, Cambodia, during 23-27 March.

UserRights 2015 provides a platform for defining holistic approaches to improve tenure and fishing rights globally. The focus is on the importance of appropriately designed, rights-based approaches for sustainable fisheries that address, among other things, gender and human rights. It brings together fishers, fishing communities, fish workers organizations, civil society organizations, academics, NGOs, the private sector and representatives of national governments and international organizations.

The event is co-organized by FAO and the Fisheries Administration of the Government of the Kingdom of Cambodia.


ActionAid reports on promoting the adoption of the Voluntary Guidelines among vulnerable communities

From The Gambia to Guatemala, in 21 countries around the world, ActionAid is raising awareness of the Voluntary Guidelines and helping communities to understand how to use them to protect tenure rights and food security. For the Voluntary Guidelines to be meaningful, communities need support to advocate and monitor their implementation, including with regard to gender equity, stakeholder platforms; legitimate tenure rights; free, prior and informed consent; and protection from “land grabs”.

ActionAid Sierra Leone is reaching thousands through meetings and radio. In Haiti, grassroots leaders are learning how the Voluntary Guidelines can be used to secure land tenure for the most vulnerable after the 2010 earthquake. In Malawi, Senegal and Guatemala, ActionAid helps vulnerable communities to assert leadership within multi-stakeholder platforms that inform land-related laws and policies, including on the impact of “land grabs”. ActionAid Nigeria is analyzing the applicability of the Voluntary Guidelines to the Nigerian context and is enabling communities to be informed of the consistency between the Guidelines and the New Alliance for Food Security policy commitments. ActionAid Bangladesh is sharing community experiences and alternatives with policy-makers to inform them of the Voluntary Guidelines implementation process.       


NEW E-LEARNING COURSE: Addressing Tenure Issues in the Context of Natural DisastersThis e-learning course explains how livelihoods and tenure rights are affected by natural disasters, and illustrates how responsible governance of tenure of land, fisheries and forests can support a disaster management process through improved prevention, mitigation, preparedness, emergency response, and recovery and reconstruction.

Improving governance of forest tenure 

The technical guide on ‘Improving governance of forest tenure’ is now available in French in addition to English and Spanish. This practical guide lays out a range of tools that can be used to shape better governance of forest tenure and it describes how to take action in four critical areas – understanding, organizing, engaging and ensuring – to improve decision-making about forest goods and services. 
EN | FR | SP