Governance of Tenure

Governance of tenure newsletter

01 February 2017

Africa Region

© FAO / Leila Shamsaifar   

Addis Ababa, Ethiopia, 22-24 November 2016: Participants shared experiences at a workshop to improve governance of tenure using the Voluntary Guidelines and the Framework and Guidelines on Land Policy in Africa. The workshop was conducted by FAO and the Land Policy Initiative (a consortium of the African Union, the African Development Bank, and the United Nations Economic Commission for Africa) as part of the EU-funded transversal support to Land Governance in Africa. It was attended by staff from projects in Angola, Burundi, Ethiopia, Kenya, Malawi, Niger, Somalia, Sudan and Swaziland. Topics discussed included facilitation of multi-stakeholder processes, documenting and communicating lessons, gender-equitable governance of tenure, and Free, Prior and Informed Consent.

Europe and Central Asia Region

© FAO / Anetta Szilagyi    

Budapest, Hungary, 12-13 December 2016: Around 60 representatives of civil society organizations participated in a FAO-led regional workshop funded by Belgium, to learn about the Voluntary Guidelines. Important tenure issues in the region were discussed, including investment, corruption, access to land, redistribution and restitution, and the importance of participation in decision-making. Civil society leaders from Mongolia, Nepal, Sierra Leone, and the Philippines shared their experiences of the Voluntary Guidelines. They also looked at the use of training materials designed by FAO and FIAN International. FIAN is the facilitator of the IPC working group on land. The workshop was attended by participants from Albania, Armenia, Azerbaijan, Belarus, Bulgaria, Georgia, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Macedonia, Moldova, Romania, Russian Federation, Tajikistan, Turkey, Ukraine and Uzbekistan. 

Latin America Region

© FAO / Karina Crespo   

Santiago, Chile, 6-7 October 2016: The regional workshop trained 40 participants to be facilitators to promote effective use of the Voluntary Guidelines. The workshop was led by FAO in collaboration with FENSUAGRO and Fundación Guillermo Torriello, with financial support from Belgium. The participants from Argentina, Brazil, Chile, Colombia, Ecuador, Guatemala, Paraguay, Uruguay and Venezuela were representative of both government and civil society. The event is part of support to REAF (specialized meeting on family farming) and was preceded by an online consultation on the use of the Voluntary Guidelines. Further support will be given for developing capacity at national level.

Santiago, Chile, 11-13 January 2017: During this workshop the implementation of the Voluntary Guidelines was promoted. An open forum on land tenure governance explored the role of sustainable territorial development and how to analyse and enhance it. The workshop addressed the preparation of a capacity development programme with the Ibero-American Committee of Cadaster on Cadaster and Governance. It provided an opportunity to prepare a six month roadmap of activities at regional and national levels. The workshop was also an opportunity to launch FAO’s cooperative programme with Brazil. 


© FAO / Alessandra Benedetti    

Viota District, Colombia, 8-11 August 2016: The prominent role of tenure in the Colombian peace agreement calls for a high level of knowledge of the Voluntary Guidelines by all stakeholders, including civil society. The learning event was attended by around 75 representatives from 21 Colombian civil society organizations to promote the use of the Voluntary Guidelines. The event was organized by FENSUAGRO, a farmers’ union, with the support of FAO, FIAN International and Alianza por la soberania alimentaria with financial support from Belgium. The participants used the Voluntary Guidelines in the analysis of real cases and prepared plans to promote their use. 



Mexico, 5 October 2016: An “Information and Reflection Day on the Voluntary Guidelines” took place at the Senate of the Republic. The event, organized by the Agrarian Commission of the Senate, provided an opportunity to discuss the Voluntary Guidelines and their contribution to strengthening the policy framework on the governance of tenure of land, forests and fisheries in Mexico. Emphasis was placed on good practices and lessons learned from countries where progress has already been made in implementing the Voluntary Guidelines. Methodologies dealing with land conflict resolution were also high on the agenda. Representatives from the Government and indigenous commissions participated in the event. A similar event was held on the 6th October 2016 at the National Congress, convened by the Agrarian Reform Commission of the Chamber of Deputies. 

Republic of the Congo

© FAO / Marie-Lara Hubert-Chartier   

Owando, Republic of Congo 17-18 November 2016 and Dolisie, Republic of Congo 23-24 November 2016: More than 100 participants engaged in discussions on tenure and the Voluntary Guidelines at these two workshops that built on the national workshop held in October 2015 in Brazzaville. The workshops were organized by the Ministry of Tenure Affairs and Public Domain, with the technical and financial support of FAO. Topics included national land, forestry, mines and legislation, gender and land issues, and tenure reform. The participants represented government authorities, specialized agencies, civil society, indigenous peoples, academia and the private sector. In working groups they prepared nine recommendations and emphasised the need to develop a Rural Code. Participants expressed interest in the establishment of a multi-stakeholder and multi-sectoral committee for the Voluntary Guidelines. 

Extraterritorial agricultural investments in Africa by China, India and South Africa conference

© UIBE   

Beijing, China 21-25 November 2016: The lack of secure tenure rights and the documentation of these rights were documented as the main challenge. Around 100 participants made up of government officials, public and private sector investors, academia and international organizations attended the international conference. It was organized by the University of International Business and Economics and FAO and funded by the United Kingdom (DFID). Several agricultural investment cases from Africa were presented and business models and modus operandi were discussed. The conference provided an opportunity to look at how the Voluntary Guidelines can be a part of investment practices. It also showed the interest in continuing the dialogue to ensure responsible investments. 

International Federation of Surveyors (FIG)

Helsinki, Finland, 29 May-2 June 2017: The theme of the Voluntary Guidelines and surveyors will be discussed by the FIG Academic Members Forum at the FIG Working Week. Presentations will include the results of a consultation on the awareness and recognition of the Voluntary Guidelines in the surveying profession, and the Voluntary Guidelines in the curriculum. The topic of a special FIG/FAO session is Land consolidation.

Abidjan, Côte d’Ivoire, 16-18 November 2016. FIG supported African surveyors to use the Voluntary Guidelines to improve land governance through a special session at the Africa FIG Regional Network.

Christchurch, New Zealand 2-6 May 2016: The FIG Working Week 2016. In October 2016, the FIG Christchurch Declaration based on the Small Island Developing States workshop held during the FIG Working Week 2016 was released. Some core initiatives include advocating for land policy and legal frameworks. These have been informed by the Voluntary Guidelines that recognize, respect and safeguard all legal and legitimate tenure rights. They provide access to justice to resolve land disputes, are pro-poor and gender-responsive, and provide for effective and full participation by all. 

Read more on the FIG Working Week 2017 
Read the Declaration on Small Island Developing States 
FIG Update Brochure

Discovery Day

© FAO / Federica Gabellini    

Rome, Italy, 28 November 2016: ‘Discovery Day: Spatial Data Infrastructure in support of good land governance’ was organized by FAO, the European Union Joint Research Center and the United Nations Economic Commission for Europe. The event raised awareness of the use of geospatial technologies, data and services consistent with the Voluntary Guidelines and in support of the Global Agenda. Practical examples were presented from Eastern Europe and Central Asia on how different technologies can contribute to improving the governance of tenure. The world today faces challenges such as higher demands for natural resources, increases in natural disasters, and conflicts that have forced millions of people to migrate. The event looked at how governments and others can use Spatial Data Infrastructure (SDI) to address these challenges, such as through spatial planning, disaster risk management and climate change monitoring, mitigation and adaptation.

For more information listen to a recording of the session here.