Strengthening Land Governance: Lessons from implementing the Voluntary Guidelines

Working and discussion papers
May 2016
Ruth Hall, Ian Scoones with Giles Henley

The Voluntary Guidelines on Responsible Governance of Tenure of Land, Fisheries and Forests in the Context of National Food Security (VGGT) are a globally negotiated and agreed framework endorsed in the Committee on World Food Security (CFS) on 11 May 2012.

The VGGT represent a political agreement on the minimum standards for land governance, combined with an authoritative interpretation of international law. While in legal terms the VGGT are voluntary, they constitute a global consensus on a set of norms. They reflect knowledge and lessons learnt from decades of work on land tenure and governance of natural resources. Donors, governments, civil society bodies and others contributed their experiences and insights into the drafting and negotiations processes.

Now, four years on, what has been done to realise these principles? What are the current debates surrounding implementation of the VGGT? What challenges and obstacles have emerged, and how are they being addressed and resolved in different contexts? What are the ways forward for different stakeholders? This Land: Enhancing Governance for Economic Development (LEGEND) State of the Debate report discusses these questions.

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