Putting the VGGT into practice | Land Portal

Putting the VGGT into practice

What does implementation mean?

In general, there is a difference between defining VGGT implementation from an action perspective or from a monitoring perspective. Discussions about the meaning of implementation rather stem from its definition from the monitoring perspective.

The VGGT provide process and content-related guidance that can be used to develop and implement laws, policies and programmes. Implementing is the act of putting something into effect. Implementing the VGGT can hence be any contribution by an individual or a group to improve governance of tenure within the framework of the VGGT. Implementation can therefore take as many forms as provisions given in the VGGT. This can involve using the VGGT as a framework that provides an overview or a roadmap of the different topics that are relevant to improving governance of tenure and how they link. It can also involve using the VGGT as a benchmark against which the status quo of tenure governance and its processes as a whole or for selected topics can be compared.

Who can implement?

The principle responsibility of improving governance of tenure lies with States. Yet, all stakeholders can/or may contribute to improving governance of tenure.  They have a role in improving the way they do things by themselves, within the scope of their own responsibilities, given by their context, and in and through collaboration with other stakeholders.

VGGT par. 2.3 defines who, in principle, can use the VGGT:

These Guidelines can be used by States; implementing agencies; judicial authorities; local governments; organizations of farmers and small-scale producers, of fishers, and of forest users; pastoralists; indigenous peoples and other communities; civil society; private sector; academia; and all persons concerned to assess tenure governance and identify improvements and apply them. (VGGT par. 2.3)

In addition, various further paragraphs, particularly emphasize the roles of stakeholder groups for specific situations, e.g. “States should”, “business enterprises should”, “Indigenous peoples and other communities with customary tenure systems should”, “development partners and specialized agencies of the United Nations should”. However, having specified the potential to use the VGGT by everyone in par. 2.3, all paragraphs are relevant to all stakeholder groups in learning what responsible practices look like and all stakeholder groups may contribute to realizing all provisions of the VGGT.

Next to defining the roles of stakeholder groups in implementation, the VGGT also strictly emphasize in over 45 paragraphs, the need for collaboration and for inclusive and participatory processes as a basis for all actions to improve governance of tenure. This includes the overarching implementation principle 3B6, consultation and participation and par. 26.2 which encourages States to set up multi-stakeholder platforms and frameworks at local, national and regional levels or use such existing platforms and frameworks to collaborate on the implementation of the VGGT.

How is the implementation monitored?

Monitoring the implementation of the VGGT involves seeking the degree of compliance with the VGGT in developing and implementing laws, policies and programmes. Defining the term VGGT implementation from a monitoring perspective hence entails defining the purpose and scope of implementation, such as, are we considering country-level implementation and if so improving governance of tenure overall, or just specific aspects of it? Are we monitoring the degree of implementation by a specific organization, profession or a group of people?

The VGGT themselves include provisions on monitoring, such as on what should be monitored by whom and through which process. They call for the monitoring of the progress of VGGT implementation at country level and its impact on overarching development goals, in Part 7, Promotion, implementation, monitoring and evaluation. In addition, they provide guidance on monitoring specific topics of interest in various other parts of the VGGT.

In accordance with the voluntary nature of these Guidelines, States have the responsibility for their implementation, monitoring and evaluation. (VGGT, par. 26.1)

States are encouraged to set up multi-stakeholder platforms and frameworks […] to monitor and evaluate the implementation in their jurisdictions.(VGGT par. 26.2)

Through the principle of implementation 10, Continuous improvement, the VGGT further provide for monitoring systems to be embedded in all processes to improve and maintain responsible tenure governance:

States should improve mechanisms for monitoring and analysis of tenure governance in order to develop evidence-based programmes and secure on-going improvements. (VGGT par. 3B10)

Paragraph 26.4 further identifies the Committee on World Food Security as the global forum, where all relevant actors assess progress towards the implementation.

The Committee on World Food Security should be the global forum where all relevant actors […] assess progress toward the implementation of these Guidelines. […] Therefore, the Secretariat of the Committee on World Food Security, in collaboration with the Advisory Group, should report to the Committee on World Food Security on the progress of the implementation of these Guidelines. (VGGT par. 26.4)

Examples of implementation

If implementing the VGGT is any contribution by an individual or a group to improve governance of tenure within the framework of the VGGT possibilities of implementation are as multi-facetted as the VGGT. For instance, the Committee on World Food Security in 2016 collected 62 examples of implementation.

More examples of implementation:

  • Sierra Leone, developed an inclusive and participatory institutional framework across Ministries and stakeholder groups and passed a Land Policy that is based on the VGGT.
  • Senegal strengthened its institutional platform on tenure governance, used the VGGT as framework that enhances dialogue and capacity development and to enhance its draft Land Policy.(not available yet)
  • In Colombia, the VGGT provided the neutral basis for discussions about land issues during the negotiations that led to the 2016 Peace Agreement.
  • Oxfam International highlighted the risks and impacts of sugar cane sourcing by Coca Cola, PepsiCo and other companies for land rights of communities. As a result Coca Cola and PepsiCo committed to showing ‘zero tolerance’ for land grabs. Since then Oxfam has been monitoring their progress and providing guidance for improvements. Read more.
  • The Asian NGO Coalition (ANGOC) in collaboration with GIZ examined Philippine policies on land and resource tenure and ten laws on tenure against the VGGT. Read more.
  • The Food First Information and Action Network (FIAN International) developed a monitoring tool based on the VGGT. In addition, FIAN International in collaboration with local CSO’s designed and implemented training programmes on the VGGT. Read the country-level reports.
  • The Interlaken group is an informal network of leaders from companies, civil society organizations, Indigenous Peoples organizations, and public and private investors.  The group aims at ensuring responsible land rights practices in private sector investments. It developed tailored guidance documents for and with investors and compiles information on the use of the VGGT for the private sector and provides information on private sector commitments to implement the VGGT.

Library

Experiences and Good Practices In The Use and Application of The Voluntary Guidelines on the Responsible Governance of Tenure of Land, Fisheries and Forests in the Context of National Food Security (VGGT) - Summary and Key Elements cover image
Reports & Research
July 2016
Global

At its 42nd Plenary session in 2015, the Committee on World Food Security (CFS) decided to hold a global thematic event at the 43rd session in October 2016 to share experiences and take stock of the use and application of the Voluntary Guidelines on the Responsible Governance of Tenure of Land, Fisheries and Forests in the Context of National Food Security (VGGT), as a contribution to monitorin

Policy Papers & Briefs
March 2018
South Africa

The Voluntary Guidelines on the Responsible Governance of Tenure of Land, Fisheries and Forests in the Context of National Food Security (VGGT) set out internationally-accepted principles and standards for responsible practices, providing a framework for governments, the private sector and civil society to use when developing policies and programmes for improving food security.

Voluntary Guide on the Responsible Governance of land fisheries and forests in the context of national food security
Reports & Research
December 2012
Africa
Algeria
Egypt
Libya
Morocco
Sudan
Tunisia
Burundi
Comoros
Djibouti
Eritrea
Ethiopia
Kenya
Madagascar
Malawi
Mauritius
Mozambique
Rwanda
Seychelles
Somalia
South Sudan
Tanzania
Uganda
Zambia
Zimbabwe
Angola
Cameroon
Central African Republic
Chad
Congo
Democratic Republic of the Congo
Equatorial Guinea
Gabon
Sao Tome and Principe
Botswana
Lesotho
Namibia
South Africa
Eswatini
Benin
Burkina Faso
Cape Verde
Gambia
Ghana
Guinea
Guinea-Bissau
Ivory Coast
Liberia
Mali
Mauritania
Niger
Nigeria
Senegal
Sierra Leone
Togo
Americas
Antigua and Barbuda
Bahamas
Barbados
Cuba
Dominica
Dominican Republic
Grenada
Haiti
Jamaica
Saint Kitts and Nevis
Saint Lucia
Saint Vincent and the Grenadines
Trinidad and Tobago
Belize
Costa Rica
El Salvador
Guatemala
Honduras
Mexico
Nicaragua
Panama
Argentina
Bolivia
Brazil
Chile
Colombia
Ecuador
Guyana
Paraguay
Peru
Suriname
Uruguay
Venezuela
Northern America
Canada
United States of America
Asia
Kazakhstan
Kyrgyzstan
Tajikistan
Turkmenistan
Uzbekistan
China
Democratic People's Republic of Korea
Japan
Mongolia
Republic of Korea
Brunei Darussalam
Cambodia
Indonesia
Laos
Malaysia
Myanmar
Philippines
Singapore
Thailand
Vietnam
Afghanistan
Bangladesh
Bhutan
India
Iran
Maldives
Nepal
Pakistan
Sri Lanka
Armenia
Azerbaijan
Bahrain
Cyprus
Georgia
Iraq
Israel
Jordan
Kuwait
Lebanon
Oman
Qatar
Saudi Arabia
Syrian Arab Republic
Turkey
United Arab Emirates
Yemen
Europe
Belarus
Bulgaria
Czech Republic
Hungary
Moldova
Poland
Russia
Slovakia
Ukraine
Denmark
Estonia
Faroe Islands
Finland
Iceland
Ireland
Latvia
Lithuania
Norway
Sweden
United Kingdom
Albania
Andorra
Bosnia and Herzegovina
Croatia
Greece
Holy See
Italy
North Macedonia
Malta
Montenegro
Portugal
San Marino
Serbia
Slovenia
Spain
Austria
Belgium
France
Germany
Liechtenstein
Luxembourg
Monaco
Netherlands
Switzerland
Oceania
Australia
New Zealand
Fiji
Papua New Guinea
Solomon Islands
Vanuatu
Kiribati
Marshall Islands
Micronesia
Nauru
Palau
Cook Islands
Niue
Samoa
Tokelau
Tonga
Tuvalu
Global

The VGGT represent the first inter-governmental consensus on the principles and accepted standards for the responsible governance of tenure for governments, international organisations, communities, and the private sector.

Training Resources & Tools
November 2017
Global

ActionAid International has been working over the last few years with women and rural communities to challenge commercialization of land, which leads to loss of their rights to land.

Data

VGGT Logo

This qualitative dataset shows how national laws measure up against the international standards on expropriation, compensation, and resettlement as established in Section 16 of the UN Voluntary Guidelines on the Responsible Governance of Tenure of Land Fisheries and Forests in the Context of National Food Security (VGGTs). The UN Committee on World Food Security, a body consisting of 193 governments, endorsed the VGGTs in 2012.

The dataset contains indicators which ask yes or no questions about the legal provisions established in national laws.

FAO Gender and Land Rights Database

Land is a crucial resource for poverty reduction, food security and rural development. However, men and women do not always enjoy the same rights to land. This dataset contains indicators from the FAO Gender & Land Rights Database.

The Voluntary Guidelines on the Responsible Governance of Tenure on the Responsible Governance of Tenure of Land, Fisheries and F

Dataset provider: 
Leila Shamsaifar
Map of Donors (Land governance Programme Map)

The original dataset (Land governance Programme Map & Database by Global Donor Platform For Rural Development) retains 821 projects in 144 countries with a total value of 2.6 billion dollars for active programmes and contains information the location, duration, funding and scope of each programme, as well as on the specific aspects of the Voluntary Guidelines it supports.

The quantitative dataset on forest tenure data by RRI currently covers 52 countries containing nearly 90% of the world’s forests.

Dataset provider: 
Rights and Resources Initiative

Events

CFS 49 Side Event
11 October 2021
Global

The 49th Session of the Committee on World Food Security (CFS) will be held virtually from 11 to 14 October 2021.

Organizers: 
Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations
Deutsche Gesellschaft für Internationale Zusammenarbeit (GIZ) GmbH
Netherlands Enterprise & Development Agency
Land Portal Foundation
United States Agency for International Development
United Nations Convention to Combat Desertification
16 July 2020

Location

Online
XX
Global

Acknowledging the centrality of land issues to end hunger and achieve sustainable development, countries have agreed to meet ambitious land targets by 2030. Five years into the SDGs, persistent land insecurity, land evictions, threats to land rights defenders and other challenges show that the land promises are not being delivered.

Organizers: 
Land Portal Foundation
Landesa - Rural Development Institute
International Land Coalition
Webinar - Land Consolidation Legislation: FAO Legal Guide and Its Application at the Country Level
18 June 2020

Location

Online
XX
Europe
Global

Land consolidation is a well-proven land management instrument, which has traditionally been used for agricultural development with a main objective of reducing land fragmentation and increasing holding and farm sizes. Some European countries have a land consolidation tradition that goes back a hundred years or more. It is also widespread in particular in countries in Asia but also in Africa.

Organizers: 
Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO)
International Federation of Surveyors (FIG)
Land Portal Foundation

Latest news

COVID-19 and the SDGs: moving forward after the crisis
22 April 2020
Global

Many governments, businesses and local communities have made commitments towards the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) but COVID-19 may set some of these commitments back.

12 October 2019
Africa

One of the fundamental resources that is essential for the development and sustenance of people in Africa is land.
Land is very important because it forms the basis of agricultural production in the sub-region.

9 November 2017
Global

Recommendation for the Inter-Agency Expert Group on SDGs (IAEG-SDG) meeting (11-14 November 2017, Manama, Bahrain)

 

Blogs

24 May 2021
Authors: 
Louisa J.M. Jansen
Cambodia
Laos
Myanmar
Vietnam

The recognition of customary tenure systems and responsible land-based investments that safeguard legitimate tenure rights and right holders are the interconnected main themes for mainstreaming the principles and internationally recognized good practices of the Voluntary Guidelines on the Responsible Governance of Tenure of Land, Fisheries and Forests in the Context of National Food Security (VGGT) in Cambodia, Lao People's Democratic Republic, Myanmar and Viet Nam.

24 May 2021
Authors: 
Louisa J.M. Jansen
Cambodia
Laos
Myanmar
Vietnam

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".

24 May 2021
Authors: 
Louisa J.M. Jansen
Global

Instruments like the Voluntary Guidelines on the Responsible Governance of Tenure of Land, Fisheries and Forests in the Context of National Food Security (VGGT) are "voluntary", i.e., legally non-binding. These instruments are intended to have a direct influence on the governance of the tenure practice of states by providing an internationally recognized set of principles, and by simultaneously encouraging good practices.

Tools & Guides

Putting the Voluntary Guidelines into Practice: A Learning Guide for Civil Society Organizations cover image
Manuals & Guidelines
December 2017
Global

This learning guide provides civil society organizations (CSOs) with a methodology and a set of materials to undertake training on the VGGT with civil society actors from the grassroots to the national level. Trainees will learn how to apply the VGGT to actual tenure governance challenges.

Policy Papers & Briefs
August 2015
Global

This guide has been produced by the Interlaken Group, with steering support from the Rights and Resources Initiative (RRI). The Interlaken Group is a multi-stakeholder forum composed of representatives from companies, investors, international organizations, and civil society groups.

Safeguarding Human Rights in Land Related Investments cover image
Reports & Research
July 2017
Global

The Voluntary Guidelines on the Responsible Governance of tenure of Land, Fisheries and Forests in the Context of national Food Security (VGGt) represent a new international legal instrument, which was adopted unanimously in 2012 by the United nations Committee on World Food Security (CFS).

Organisations

CFS logo

The Committee on World Food Security (CFS) was set up in 1974 as an intergovernmental body to serve as a forum for review and follow up of food security policies. In 2009 the Committee went through a reform process to ensure that the voices of other stakeholders were heard in the global debate on food security and nutrition. The vision of the reformed CFS is to be the most inclusive international and intergovernmental platform for all stakeholders to work together in a coordinated way to ensure food security and nutrition for all.

The Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations leads international efforts to defeat hunger. Serving both developed and developing countries, FAO acts as a neutral forum where all nations meet as equals to negotiate agreements and debate policy. FAO is also a source of knowledge and information.

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