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News & Events ABCs of land tenure: Multilingual resources for understanding key terms
ABCs of land tenure: Multilingual resources for understanding key terms
ABCs of land tenure: Multilingual resources for understanding key terms
Louisa J.M. Jansen

To better understand key land tenure terms and their meaning, four bilingual glossaries have been prepared with the title "The ABC of land tenure - Key terms and their meaning with a focus on the Voluntary Guidelines and the Governance of Tenure of Land, Fisheries and Forests in the Context of National Food Security". These glossaries will contribute to an enhanced understanding of the VGGT and will thus benefit the implementation of the principles and internationally recognized good practices of the VGGT in the context of recognizing and protecting customary tenure systems, as well as in the context of responsible land-based investments.


The VGGT do not provide definitions. The reason is that some definitions are related to the country legal framework context and will differ from country to country. Other terms are commonly used, but having the definitions and an explanation of their meaning side by side in English and the national language will facilitate better understanding of the terms. In cases where the English terms do not translate in a single word, or a couple of words, in the national languages, the glossaries will be helpful in facilitating the comprehension of the terminology. The documents draw on other glossaries and include key words that are used in the VGGT, together with other commonly used words in land administration, land management and land legislation.


These bilingual glossaries are available at,,, and, for Cambodia, Lao People's Democratic Republic, Myanmar and Viet Nam, respectively.


These publications are possible thanks to the financial contributions from the Government of Switzerland (Swiss Agency for Development and Cooperation) and the Government of the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland (Department for International Development) (for the publication related to Myanmar).

Photo:  A rice paddy landscape in the Ninh Bình province of Vietnam. Photo by Flickr user Jacquelyn Turner/CCAFS.