Platform for African – European Partnership in Agricultural Research for Development

Thursday, October 18, 2012

EU Development Days: Panel on Voluntary Guidelines on Land Tenure

On 16-17 October, the European Commission is hosting EU Development Days, a two-day forum on international affairs and development cooperation that will see Heads of State, Nobel Prize laureates, business leaders, and development professionals meet to discuss some of the global issue that are at risk of slipping down the international agenda in the wake of the economic crisis.

FAO and its partners supported the preparation of “Voluntary Guidelines on the Responsible Governance of Tenure of Land, Fisheries and Forests in the Context of National Food Security”. These Guidelines have been prepared and negotiated through a participatory process since 2009, and endorsed in May 2012 by the Committee on World Food Security. They are the first intergovernmental comprehensive global instrument on tenure and its administration. They provide guidance for improving the institutions that regulate tenure rights; for enhancing equitable tenure rights and the administration of tenure systems; and for improving the capacities of organizations concerned with governance of tenure. 

In a landmark decision the Committee on World Food Security (CFS) has endorsed a set of far-reaching global guidelines aimed at helping governments safeguard the rights of rural people to own or access land, forests and fisheries. In this interview, FAO Assistant Director-General Alexander Mueller outlines how the Voluntary Guidelines where formulated and explains the central role of the Committee on World Food Security, who stands to benefit most, and why the guidelines are so important.

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