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Best practices, challenges and emerging issues on improving responsible governance of tenure

Lessons learned from the European Union Land Governance Programme – Final report











​Ravn-Christensen, C. 2021. Best practices, challenges and emerging issues on improving responsible governance of tenure – Lessons learned from the European Union Land Governance Programme – Final Report. Rome, FAO.​​




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    Evaluation of the project "Improved Land Tenancy in Sindh Province
    Project code: GCP/PAK/137/EC
    2022
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    The Improved Land Tenancy in Sindh Province (ILTS) project, funded by the European Union and in partnership with the Government of Sindh, aims at contributing to responsible land and water governance in Sindh Province and helping its government and land users to address challenges they face regarding land tenure, food security and natural resources management. Its approach is based on the promotion of the Voluntary Guidelines on the Responsible Governance of Tenure of Land, Fisheries and Forests in the Context of National Food Security (VGGT). The evaluation found that the project generated benefits in the domain of civic governance but not in the domain of official governance. Facilitated by its community-level platforms, the project’s outputs contributed significantly to tenant and landlord beneficiaries through the transparency, security and accessibility associated with informal land tenancy agreements and village grievance redressal committees. To this extent, the project has nurtured community-based civic governance for secure landlord-tenant agreements in its project area. The project’s VGGT strategy suffered from limitations in project design and the strategy. Furthermore, no improvements were reported in livestock productivity and community-based disaster risk reduction, which has not yet been introduced. Recommendations to FAO include actions to strengthen targeting, social inclusion, monitoring and evaluation, and sustainability and suggestions on how to optimize engagement with the government and other stakeholders in view of project experiences.
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    Support to Strengthen Governance of Tenure through the Implementation of the Voluntary Guidelines on the Responsible Governance of Tenure Of Land, Fisheries and Forests in Tanzania - TCP/URT/3702 2021
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    Land has played a critical role in the development of the United Republic of Tanzania, with the roots of land tenure frameworks, issues and conflicts dating back hundreds of years Current land laws in the country are seen as progressive policies and legislation recognize the equal rights to land of men and women, including unregistered rights under customary laws, and any transfer of rights requires the consent of local people In practice, however, land tenure rights are disputed among village, district and national administrative authorities, and conflicts over land are common, widespread and sometimes violent Policy deficiencies and contradictions, weak policy and institutional frameworks, and poor governance have together resulted in tenure insecurity The country has recently updated its National Land Policy 1995 and made significant investments in land programmes In recognition of FAO’s role as a neutral partner and of its broad expertise in land tenure and the Voluntary Guidelines on the Responsible Governance of Tenure of Land, Fisheries and Forests in the Context of National Food Security ( in particular, the Government of the United Republic of Tanzania requested FAO to provide support to the process of implementing the new National Land Policy The VGGT set out principles and internationally accepted standards for responsible practices They are a framework that actors can use when developing their own strategies, policies, legislation and programmes They allow government authorities, the private sector, civil society and citizens to judge whether their proposed actions and the actions of others constitute acceptable practices In November 2017 in collaboration with MLHHSD, FAO held a technical workshop on the implementation of the VGGT in the country, at which the Government ensured its support to FAO Areas defined as important were the regularization of customary land, the resolution of land conflicts, including through Alternative Dispute Resolution ( methods, land use planning and land based investments.
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    Policy brief
    Protecting legitimate tenure rights: From concepts to practice 2021
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    Misalignments between national laws and local tenure systems can undermine the resource claims of marginalized groups and lead to conflict. To proactively address rights violations that stem from such misalignment, the United Nations Committee on World Food Security endorsed the Voluntary Guidelines on the Responsible Governance of Tenure of Land, Fisheries and Forests in the Context of National Food Security (VGGT), establishing the most comprehensive global soft-law instrument concerning tenure rights. The VGGT call on States to recognize, respect and protect all “legitimate” tenure rights, including those not currently protected by national laws. They also affirm the responsibility of businesses to respect all legitimate tenure rights, linking tenure issues to businesses’ wider human rights responsibilities. However, the concept of legitimate tenure rights has often proved difficult to operationalize. This legal brief discusses the meaning and implications of recognizing legitimate tenure rights, then outlines possible ways forward for States, civil society, the private sector and development agencies.

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