CFS Policy Convergence Products Database - CFS Policy Convergence Products Database
The Committee on World Food Security (CFS) is the foremost inclusive international and intergovernmental platform for all stakeholders to work together to ensure food security and nutrition for all. This database provides easy access to CFS products, such as voluntary guidelines, policy recommendations and principles.
CFS Products Legend
Voluntary Guidelines on the Responsible Governance of Tenure of Land, Fisheries, and Forests
Principles for Responsible Investment in Agriculture and Food Systems
Framework for Action for Food Security and Nutrition in Protracted Crises
Voluntary Guidelines - Right to Food
Voluntary Guidelines on Food Systems and Nutrition
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States should ensure that the delivery of services related to tenure and its administration are consistent with their existing obligations under national and international law, and with due regard to voluntary commitments under applicable regional and international instruments.
States and other parties should hold good faith consultation with indigenous peoples before initiating any project or before adopting and implementing legislative or administrative measures affecting the resources for which the communities hold rights. Such projects should be based on an effective and meaningful consultation with indigenous peoples, through their own representative institutions in order to obtain their free, prior and informed consent under the United Nations Declaration of Rights of Indigenous Peoples and with due regard for particular positions and understandings of [...]
States should respect and promote customary approaches used by indigenous peoples and other communities with customary tenure systems to resolving tenure conflicts within communities consistent with their existing obligations under national and international law, and with due regard to voluntary commitments under applicable regional and international instruments. For land, fisheries and forests that are used by more than one community, means of resolving conflict between communities should be strengthened or developed.
States should protect indigenous peoples and other communities with customary tenure systems against the unauthorized use of their land, fisheries and forests by others. Where a community does not object, States should assist to formally document and publicize information on the nature and location of land, fisheries and forests used and controlled by the community. Where tenure rights of indigenous peoples and other communities with customary tenure systems are formally documented, they should be recorded with other public, private and communal tenure rights to prevent competing claims.
State and non-state actors should strive, where necessary, together with representative institutions of affected communities and in cooperation with affected communities, to provide technical and legal assistance to affected communities to participate in the development of tenure policies, laws and projects in non-discriminatory and gender-sensitive ways.
States and non-state actors should endeavour to prevent corruption in relation to tenure systems of indigenous peoples and other communities with customary tenure systems, by consultation and participation, and by empowering communities.
Where informal tenure to land, fisheries and forests exists, States should acknowledge it in a manner that respects existing formal rights under national law and in ways that recognize the reality of the situation and promote social, economic and environmental well-being. States should promote policies and laws to provide recognition to such informal tenure. The process of establishing these policies and laws should be participatory, gender sensitive and strive to make provision for technical and legal support to affected communities and individuals. In particular, States should [...]
Whenever States provide legal recognition to informal tenure, this should be done through participatory, gender-sensitive processes, having particular regard to tenants. In doing so, States should pay special attention to farmers and small-scale food producers. These processes should facilitate access to legalization services and minimize costs. State should strive to provide technical and legal support to communities and participants.
States should take all appropriate measures to limit the informal tenure that results from overly complex legal and administrative requirements for land use change and development on land. Development requirements and processes should be clear, simple and affordable to reduce the burden of compliance.
States should ensure that all actions regarding informal tenure are consistent with their existing obligations under national and international law, and with due regard to voluntary commitments under applicable regional and international instruments, including as appropriate to the right to adequate housing.
Where appropriate, States may consider land consolidation, exchanges or other voluntary approaches for the readjustment of parcels or holdings to assist owners and users to improve the layout and use of their parcels or holdings, including for the promotion of food security and rural development in a sustainable manner. States should ensure that all actions are consistent with their obligations under national and international law, and with due regard to voluntary commitments under applicable regional and international instruments, and ensure that participants are at least as well off [...]
When investments involving large-scale transactions of tenure rights, including acquisitions and partnership agreements, are being considered, States should strive to make provisions for different parties to conduct prior independent assessments on the potential positive and negative impacts that those investments could have on tenure rights, food security and the progressive realization of the right to adequate food, livelihoods and the environment. States should ensure that existing legitimate tenure rights and claims, including those of customary and informal tenure, are [...]
Where appropriate, States may consider the establishment of land banks as a part of land consolidation programmes to acquire and temporarily hold land parcels until they are allocated to beneficiaries.
States should make provision for investments involving all forms of transactions of tenure rights, including acquisitions and partnership agreements, to be consistent with the principles of consultation and participation of these Guidelines, with those whose tenure rights, including subsidiary rights, might be affected. States and other relevant parties should inform individuals, families and communities of their tenure rights, and assist to develop their capacity in consultations and participation, including providing professional assistance as required.
States and affected parties should contribute to the effective monitoring of the implementation and impacts of agreements involving large-scale transactions in tenure rights, including acquisitions and partnership agreements. States should take corrective action where necessary to enforce agreements and protect tenure and other rights and provide mechanisms whereby aggrieved parties can request such action.
Investors have the responsibility to respect national law and legislation and recognize and respect tenure rights of others and the rule of law in line with the general principle for non-state actors as contained in these Guidelines. Investments should not contribute to food insecurity and environmental degradation.
When States invest or promote investments abroad, they should ensure that their conduct is consistent with the protection of legitimate tenure rights, the promotion of food security and their existing obligations under national and international law, and with due regard to voluntary commitments under applicable regional and international instruments.
Contracting parties should provide comprehensive information to ensure that all relevant persons are engaged and informed in the negotiations, and should seek that the agreements are documented and understood by all who are affected. The negotiation process should be non-discriminatory and gender sensitive.
Professionals who provide services to States, investors and holders of tenure rights to land, fisheries and forests should undertake due diligence to the best of their ability when providing their services, irrespective of whether it is specifically requested.
States should provide recording systems appropriate for their particular circumstances, including the available human and financial resources. Socio-culturally appropriate ways of recording rights of indigenous peoples and other communities with customary tenure systems should be developed and used. In order to enhance transparency and compatibility with other sources of information for spatial planning and other purposes, each State should strive to develop an integrated framework that includes existing recording systems and other spatial information systems. In each jurisdiction, [...]
Evictions and relocations should not result in individuals being rendered homeless or vulnerable to the violation of human rights. Where those affected are unable to provide for themselves, States should, to the extent that resources permit, take appropriate measures to provide adequate alternative housing, resettlement or access to productive land, fisheries and forests, as the case may be.
Implementing agencies should adopt simplified procedures and locally suitable technology to reduce the costs and time required for delivering services. The spatial accuracy for parcels and other spatial units should be sufficient for their identification to meet local needs, with increased spatial accuracy being provided if required over time. To facilitate the use of records of tenure rights, implementing agencies should link information on the rights, the holders of those rights, and the spatial units related to those rights. Records should be indexed by spatial units as well as by [...]
States should provide systems (such as registration, cadastre and licensing systems) to record individual and collective tenure rights in order to improve security of tenure rights, including those held by the State and public sector, private sector, and indigenous peoples and other communities with customary tenure systems; and for the functioning of local societies and of markets. Such systems should record, maintain and publicize tenure rights and duties, including who holds those rights and duties, and the parcels or holdings of land, fisheries or forests to which the rights and [...]
States should strive to ensure that everyone is able to record their tenure rights and obtain information without discrimination on any basis. Where appropriate, implementing agencies, such as land registries, should establish service centres or mobile offices, having regard to accessibility by women, the poor and vulnerable groups. States should consider using locally-based professionals, such as lawyers, notaries, surveyors and social scientists to deliver information on tenure rights to the public.
States should ensure that information on tenure rights is easily available to all, subject to privacy restrictions. Such restrictions should not unnecessarily prevent public scrutiny to identify corrupt and illegal transactions. States and non-state actors should further endeavour to prevent corruption in the recording of tenure rights by widely publicizing processes, requirements, fees and any exemptions, and deadlines for responses to service requests.
States should ensure that appropriate systems are used for the fair and timely valuation of tenure rights for specific purposes, such as operation of markets, security for loans, transactions in tenure rights as a result of investments, expropriation and taxation. Such systems should promote broader social, economic, environmental and sustainable development objectives.
States should develop policies and laws that encourage and require transparency in valuing tenure rights. Sale prices and other relevant information should be recorded, analysed and made accessible to provide a basis for accurate and reliable assessments of values.
Policies and laws related to valuation should strive to ensure that valuation systems take into account non-market values, such as social, cultural, religious, spiritual and environmental values where applicable.
When conflicts arise, States and other parties should strive to respect and protect existing legitimate tenure rights and guarantee that these are not extinguished by other parties. Consistent with existing obligations under relevant national and international law, States should not recognize tenure rights to land, fisheries and forests acquired, within their territories, through forceful and/or violent means. Refugees and displaced persons and others affected by conflict should be settled in safe conditions in ways that protect the tenure rights of host communities. Violations of tenure [...]
In situations of conflicts, whenever possible or when conflicts cease, States and other parties should ensure that tenure problems are addressed in ways that contribute to gender equality and support durable solutions for those affected. Where restitution is possible and, as appropriate, with the assistance of UNHCR and other relevant agencies, refugees and displaced persons should be assisted in voluntarily, safely and with dignity returning to their place of origin, in line with applicable international standards. Procedures for restitution, rehabilitation and reparation should be [...]
In order that tenure problems do not lead to conflicts, all parties should take steps to resolve such problems through peaceful means. States should revise relevant policies and laws to eliminate discrimination and other factors that can be a cause of conflicts. Where appropriate, States may consider using customary and other local mechanisms that provide fair, reliable, gender-sensitive, accessible and non-discriminatory ways of promptly resolving disputes over tenure rights to land, fisheries and forests.
States should ensure that all actions are consistent with their existing obligations under national and international law, and with due regard to voluntary commitments under applicable regional and international instruments, including as appropriate those of the Convention relating to the Status of Refugees and its Protocol, and the United Nations Principles on Housing and Property Restitution for Refugees and Displaced Persons ('Pinheiro Principles'). During and after conflicts States should respect applicable international humanitarian law related to legitimate tenure rights.
Where restitution is not possible, the provision of secure access to alternative land, fisheries and forests and livelihoods for refugees and displaced persons should be negotiated with host communities and other relevant parties to ensure that the resettlement does not jeopardize the livelihoods of others. Special procedures should, where possible, provide the vulnerable, including widows and orphans, with secure access to land, fisheries and forests.
Where appropriate, policies and laws should be revised to address pre-existing discrimination as well as discrimination introduced during the conflicts. Where appropriate or required, relevant agencies should be re-established to deliver services necessary for responsible tenure governance.
All parties should take steps to prevent and eliminate issues of tenure of land, fisheries and forests as a cause of conflict and should ensure that aspects of tenure are addressed before, during and after conflict, including in situations of occupation where parties should act in accordance with applicable international humanitarian law.
States and other parties should address tenure during the reconstruction phase. Persons who are temporarily displaced should be assisted in voluntarily, safely and with dignity returning to their place of origin. Means to resolve disputes over tenure rights should be provided. Where boundaries of parcels and other spatial units are to be re-established, this should be done consistent with the principles of consultation and participation of these Guidelines. Where people are unable to return to their place of origin, they should be permanently resettled elsewhere. Such resettlement should [...]
In accordance with the voluntary nature of these Guidelines, States have the responsibility for their implementation, monitoring and evaluation.
Where poverty and hunger are predominantly rural, States should focus on sustainable agricultural and rural development through measures to improve access to land, water, appropriate and affordable technologies, productive and financial resources, enhance the productivity of poor rural communities, promote the participation of the poor in economic policy decisions, share the benefits of productivity gains, conserve and protect natural resources, and invest in rural infrastructure, education and research. In particular, States should adopt policies that create conditions that encourage [...]
States should pursue inclusive, non-discriminatory and sound economic, agriculture, fisheries, forestry, land-use, and, as appropriate, land-reform policies, all of which will permit farmers, fishers, foresters and other food producers, particularly women, to earn a fair return from their labour, capital and management, and encourage conservation and sustainable management of natural resources, including in marginal areas
These strategies could include objectives, targets, benchmarks and time frames; and actions to formulate policies, identify and mobilize resources, define institutional mechanisms, allocate responsibilities, coordinate the activities of different actors, and provide for monitoring mechanisms. As appropriate, such strategies could address all aspects of the food system, including the production, processing, distribution, marketing and consumption of safe food. They could also address access to resources and to markets as well as parallel measures in other fields. These strategies should, [...]
In their poverty reduction strategies, States should also give priority to providing basic services for the poorest, and investing in human resources by ensuring access to primary education for all, basic health care, capacity building in good practices, clean drinking-water, adequate sanitation and justice and by supporting programmes in basic literacy, numeracy and good hygiene practices
States, individually or in cooperation with relevant international organizations, should consider integrating into their poverty reduction strategy a human rights perspective based on the principle of non-discrimination. In raising the standard of living of those below the poverty line, due regard should be given to the need to ensure equality in practice to those who are traditionally disadvantaged and between women and men
States, as appropriate and in consultation with relevant stakeholders and pursuant to their national laws, should consider adopting a national human-rights based strategy for the progressive realization of the right to adequate food in the context of national food security as part of an overarching national development strategy, including poverty reduction strategies, where they exist.
The elaboration of these strategies should begin with a careful assessment of existing national legislation, policy and administrative measures, current programmes, systematic identification of existing constraints and availability of existing resources. States should formulate the measures necessary to remedy any weakness, and propose an agenda for change and the means for its implementation and evaluation
In response to the growing problem of urban hunger and poverty, States should promote investments aimed at enhancing the livelihoods of the urban poor.
Where necessary, States should consider adopting and, as appropriate, reviewing a national poverty reduction strategy that specifically addresses access to adequate food.
States are encouraged to take action to streamline institutional procedures for food control and food safety at national level and eliminate gaps and overlaps in inspection systems and in the legislative and regulatory framework for food. States are encouraged to adopt scientifically based food safety standards, including standards for additives, contaminants, residues of veterinary drugs and pesticides, and microbiological hazards, and to establish standards for the packaging, labelling and advertising of food. These standards should take into consideration internationally accepted food [...]
States should ensure that education on safe practices is available for food business operators so that their activities neither lead to harmful residues in food nor cause harm to the environment. States should also take measures to educate consumers about the safe storage, handling and utilization of food within the household. States should collect and disseminate information to the public regarding food-borne diseases and food safety matters, and should cooperate with regional and international organizations addressing food safety issues
States may wish to establish a national coordinating committee for food to bring together both governmental and non-governmental actors involved in the food system and to act as liaison with the FAO/WHO Codex Alimentarius Commission. States should consider collaborating with private stakeholders in the food system, both by assisting them in exercising controls on their own production and handling practices, and by auditing those controls.
States should adopt measures to protect consumers from deception and misrepresentation in the packaging, labelling, advertising and sale of food and facilitate consumers' choice by ensuring appropriate information on marketed food, and provide recourse for any harm caused by unsafe or adulterated food, including food offered by street sellers. Such measures should not be used as unjustified barriers to trade; they should be in conformity with the WTO agreements (in particular SPS and TBT).
Where necessary, States should assist farmers and other primary producers to follow good agricultural practices, food processors to follow good manufacturing practices, and food handlers to follow good hygiene practices. States are encouraged to consider establishing food safety systems and supervisory mechanisms to ensure the provision of safe food to consumers
States should create an enabling environment and strategies to facilitate and support the development of private and public sector initiatives to promote appropriate tools, technologies and mechanization in the provision of relevant services, including research, extension, marketing, rural finance and microcredit, to enable more efficient food production by all farmers, in particular poor farmers, and to address local constraints such as shortage of land, water and farm power.
States should consider specific national policies, legal instruments and supporting mechanisms to protect ecological sustainability and the carrying capacity of ecosystems to ensure the possibility for increased, sustainable food production for present and future generations, prevent water pollution, protect the fertility of the soil, and promote the sustainable management of fisheries and forestry
States should establish comprehensive and rational food-control systems that reduce risk of food-borne disease using risk analysis and supervisory mechanisms to ensure food safety in the entire food chain including animal feed.
States should take measures to ensure that all food, whether locally produced or imported, freely available or sold on markets, is safe and consistent with national food safety standards.
Donor States should ensure that their food aid policies support national efforts by recipient States to achieve food security, and base their food aid provisions on sound needs assessment, targeting especially food insecure and vulnerable groups. In this context, donor States should provide assistance in a manner that takes into account food safety, the importance of not disrupting local food production and the nutritional and dietary needs and cultures of recipient populations. Food aid should be provided with a clear exit strategy and avoid the creation of dependency. Donors should [...]
International food-aid transactions, including bilateral food aid that is monetized, should be carried out in a manner consistent with the FAO Principles of Surplus Disposal and Consultative Obligations, the Food Aid Convention and the WTO Agreement on Agriculture, and should meet the internationally agreed food safety standards, bearing in mind local circumstances, dietary traditions and cultures.
In situations where it has been determined that food plays an appropriate role in safety nets, food assistance should bridge the gap between the nutritional needs of the affected population and their ability to meet those needs themselves. Food assistance should be provided with the fullest possible participation of those affected, and such food should be nutritionally adequate and safe, bearing in mind local circumstances, dietary traditions and cultures
The assessment of needs and the planning, monitoring and evaluation of the provision of food aid should, as far as possible, be made in a participatory manner and, whenever possible, in close collaboration with recipient governments at the national and local level
States, in the design of safety nets, should consider the important role of international organizations such as FAO, IFAD and WFP, and other relevant international, regional and civil society organizations that can assist them in fighting rural poverty and promoting food security and agricultural development.