Putting the VGGT into practice | Land Portal | Securing Land Rights Through Open Data

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

Data 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.

Data provider: 
Rights and Resources Initiative

Events

Cabbage plantation areas on the slope of mount Gede Pangrango Sukabumi, West Java, Indonesia.   Photo by Ricky Martin/CIFOR
11 October 2017

Location

Lebanon Room
FAO Headquarters
Rome
Italy
IT
Africa

DFID's Land: Enhancing Governance for Economic Development (LEGEND) programme is promoting learning and innovation through 7 CSO-private sector partnerships in diverse agri-regions in 5 African countries; USAID and others are supporting similar initiatives. This side event will share and discuss early insights from these pilots and explore what can be achieved through these approaches: 

Event
18 October 2018
Global

In 2017, the fifth anniversary of the landmark Voluntary Guidelines on the Responsible Governance of Tenure (VGGTs) highlighted successful integration of VGGT principles into national law and decision-making processes across several countries.

Event
LANDac Annual International Conference 2019 image
4 July 2019 to 5 July 2019
Netherlands
Global

LAND GOVERNANCE IN TRANSITION: 

How to support transformations that work for people and nature?

 

Latest news

21 March 2019
Peru
Philippines
India
Global

NEW DELHI - A push to formalise land claims, map settlements and digitise records is not always in the best interests of vulnerable communities, and may even lead to greater rights abuses, analysts warned on Friday.

29 June 2018
Global

This rapid scoping of the Food and Agricultural Organisation Voluntary Guidelines on the Responsible Governance of Tenure (VGGT) sought the views of different organisations, individuals and activists on the usefulness of the guidelines for promoting forest tenure reform in support of secure community land rights.

21 November 2017
Sierra Leone

The mention of Sierra Leone invariably conjures images of the protracted civil war and the Ebola outbreak that afflicted this West African country.
However that is not all about Sierra Leone; there are a lot of positives the country can showcase which include good practices in land administration.

Blogs

Village in rural Malawi (©Lorenzo Cotula)
22 October 2018
Authors: 
Mr. Lorenzo Cotula
Global

Following last week’s meeting of the UN Committee on World Food Security (CFS), this piece reflects on a key CFS soft-law instrument. It is an edited extract from the article “International Soft-Law Instruments and Global Resource Governance: Reflections on the Voluntary Guidelines on the Responsible Governance of Tenure”, Law, Environment and Development Journal (2017) 13(2):115-133. The full article can be freely downloaded at http://www.lead-journal.org/content/17115.pdf.

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 has been designed specifically to give civil society and grassroots organizations a deeper understanding of the Voluntary guidelines on the responsible governance of tenure of land, fisheries and forests in the context of national food security (VGGT) to enable the members of these organizations and their constituents to use the VGGT meaningfully and effectively to improve t

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.

Share this page