CFS Policy Convergence Products Database

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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.

PR

Policy Recommendations

VGGT

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

RAI

Principles for Responsible Investment in Agriculture and Food Systems

FFA

Framework for Action for Food Security and Nutrition in Protracted Crises

RtF

Voluntary Guidelines - Right to Food

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All parties should recognize that no tenure right, including private ownership, is absolute. All tenure rights are limited by the rights of others and by the measures taken by States necessary for public purposes. Such measures should be determined by law, solely for the purpose of promoting general welfare including environmental protection and consistent with States' human rights obligations. Tenure rights are also balanced by duties. All should respect the long-term protection and sustainable use of land, fisheries and forests.
VGGT, Year 2012
Based on an examination of tenure rights in line with national law, States should provide legal recognition for legitimate tenure rights not currently protected by law. Policies and laws that ensure tenure rights should be non-discriminatory and gender sensitive. Consistent with the principles of consultation and participation of these Guidelines, States should define through widely publicized rules the categories of rights that are considered legitimate. All forms of tenure should provide all persons with a degree of tenure security which guarantees legal protection against forced [...]
VGGT, Year 2012
States should protect legitimate tenure rights, and ensure that people are not arbitrarily evicted and that their legitimate tenure rights are not otherwise extinguished or infringed.
VGGT, Year 2012
States should remove and prohibit all forms of discrimination related to tenure rights, including those resulting from change of marital status, lack of legal capacity, and lack of access to economic resources. In particular, States should ensure equal tenure rights for women and men, including the right to inherit and bequeath these rights. Such State actions should be consistent with their existing obligations under relevant national law and legislation and international law, and with due regard to voluntary commitments under applicable regional and international instruments.
VGGT, Year 2012
States should consider providing non-discriminatory and gender-sensitive assistance where people are unable through their own actions to acquire tenure rights to sustain themselves, to gain access to the services of implementing agencies and judicial authorities, or to participate in processes that could affect their tenure rights.
VGGT, Year 2012
Given that all human rights are universal, indivisible, interdependent and interrelated, the governance of tenure of land, fisheries and forests should not only take into account rights that are directly linked to access and use of land, fisheries and forests, but also all civil, political, economic, social and cultural rights. In doing so, States should respect and protect the civil and political rights of defenders of human rights, including the human rights of peasants, indigenous peoples, fishers, pastoralists and rural workers, and should observe their human rights obligations when [...]
VGGT, Year 2012
States should provide access through impartial and competent judicial and administrative bodies to timely, affordable and effective means of resolving disputes over tenure rights, including alternative means of resolving such disputes, and should provide effective remedies, which may include a right of appeal, as appropriate. Such remedies should be promptly enforced and may include restitution, indemnity, compensation and reparation. States should strive to ensure that vulnerable and marginalized persons have access to such means, in line with paragraphs 6.6 and 21.6. States should [...]
VGGT, Year 2012
States should welcome and facilitate the participation of users of land, fisheries and forests in order to be fully involved in a participatory process of tenure governance, inter alia, formulation and implementation of policy and law and decisions on territorial development, as appropriate to the roles of State and non-state actors, and in line with national law and legislation.
VGGT, Year 2012
States should provide and maintain policy, legal and organizational frameworks that promote responsible governance of tenure of land, fisheries and forests. These frameworks are dependent on, and are supported by, broader reforms to the legal system, public service and judicial authorities.
VGGT, Year 2012
States should ensure that policy, legal and organizational frameworks for tenure governance are consistent with their existing obligations under national and international law, and with due regard to voluntary commitments under applicable regional and international instruments.
VGGT, Year 2012
States should ensure that policy, legal and organizational frameworks for tenure governance recognize and respect, in accordance with national laws, legitimate tenure rights including legitimate customary tenure rights that are not currently protected by law; and facilitate, promote and protect the exercise of tenure rights. Frameworks should reflect the social, cultural, economic and environmental significance of land, fisheries and forests. States should provide frameworks that are non-discriminatory and promote social equity and gender equality. Frameworks should reflect the [...]
VGGT, Year 2012
States should consider the particular obstacles faced by women and girls with regard to tenure and associated tenure rights, and take measures to ensure that legal and policy frameworks provide adequate protection for women and that laws that recognize women's tenure rights are implemented and enforced. States should ensure that women can legally enter into contracts concerning tenure rights on the basis of equality with men and should strive to provide legal services and other assistance to enable women to defend their tenure interests.
VGGT, Year 2012
States should develop relevant policies, laws and procedures through participatory processes involving all affected parties, ensuring that both men and women are included from the outset. Policies, laws and procedures should take into account the capacity to implement. They should incorporate gender-sensitive approaches, be clearly expressed in applicable languages, and widely publicized.
VGGT, Year 2012
States should place responsibilities at levels of government that can most effectively deliver services to the people. States should clearly define the roles and responsibilities of agencies dealing with tenure of land, fisheries and forests. States should ensure coordination between implementing agencies, as well as with local governments, and indigenous peoples and other communities with customary tenure systems.
VGGT, Year 2012
States should define and publicize opportunities for civil society, private sector and academia to contribute to developing and implementing policy, legal and organizational frameworks as appropriate.
VGGT, Year 2012
States and other parties should regularly review and monitor policy, legal and organizational frameworks to maintain their effectiveness. Implementing agencies and judicial authorities should engage with civil society, user representatives and the broader public to improve services and endeavour to prevent corruption through transparent processes and decision-making. Information about changes and their anticipated impacts should be clearly stated and widely publicized in applicable languages.
VGGT, Year 2012
States should recognize that policies and laws on tenure rights operate in the broader political, legal, social, cultural, religious, economic and environmental contexts. Where the broader contexts change, and where reforms to tenure are therefore required, States should seek to develop national consensus on proposed reforms.
VGGT, Year 2012
To the extent that resources permit, States should ensure that implementing agencies and judicial authorities have the human, physical, financial and other forms of capacity to implement policies and laws in a timely, effective and gender-sensitive manner. Staff at all organizational levels should receive continuous training, and be recruited with due regard to ensuring gender and social equality.
VGGT, Year 2012
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.
VGGT, Year 2012
States should provide prompt, accessible and non-discriminatory services to protect tenure rights, to promote and facilitate the enjoyment of those rights, and to resolve disputes. States should eliminate unnecessary legal and procedural requirements and strive to overcome barriers related to tenure rights. States should review services of implementing agencies and judicial authorities, and introduce improvements where required.
VGGT, Year 2012
States should ensure that implementing agencies and judicial authorities serve the entire population, delivering services to all, including those in remote locations. Services should be provided promptly and efficiently using locally suitable technology to increase efficiency and accessibility. Internal guidelines should be established so that staff can implement policies and laws in a reliable and consistent manner. Procedures should be simplified without threatening tenure security or quality of justice. Explanatory materials should be widely publicized in applicable languages and [...]
VGGT, Year 2012
States should establish policies and laws to promote the sharing, as appropriate, of spatial and other information on tenure rights for the effective use by the State and implementing agencies, indigenous peoples and other communities, civil society, the private sector, academia and the general public. National standards should be developed for the shared use of information, taking into account regional and international standards.
VGGT, Year 2012
States and other parties should consider additional measures to support vulnerable or marginalized groups who could not otherwise access administrative and judicial services. These measures should include legal support, such as affordable legal aid, and may also include the provision of services of paralegals or parasurveyors, and mobile services for remote communities and mobile indigenous peoples.
VGGT, Year 2012
States should encourage implementing agencies and judicial authorities to foster a culture based on service and ethical behaviour. Agencies and judicial authorities should seek regular feedback, such as through surveys and focus groups, to raise standards and improve delivery of services, to meet expectations, and to satisfy new needs. They should publish performance standards and report regularly on results. Users should have means of addressing complaints either within the implementing agency, such as by administrative review, or externally, such as by an independent review or through [...]
VGGT, Year 2012
Relevant professional associations for services related to tenure should develop, publicize and monitor the implementation of high levels of ethical behaviour. Public and private sector parties should adhere to applicable ethical standards, and be subject to disciplinary action in case of violations. Where such associations do not exist, States should ensure an environment conducive to their establishment.
VGGT, Year 2012
States and non-state actors should endeavour to prevent corruption with regard to tenure rights. States should do so particularly through consultation and participation, rule of law, transparency and accountability. States should adopt and enforce anti-corruption measures including applying checks and balances, limiting the arbitrary use of power, addressing conflicts of interest and adopting clear rules and regulations. States should provide for the administrative and/or judicial review of decisions of implementing agencies. Staff working on the administration of tenure should be held [...]
VGGT, Year 2012
When States recognize or allocate tenure rights to land, fisheries and forests, they should establish, in accordance with national laws, safeguards to avoid infringing on or extinguishing tenure rights of others, including legitimate tenure rights that are not currently protected by law. In particular, safeguards should protect women and the vulnerable who hold subsidiary tenure rights, such as gathering rights.
VGGT, Year 2012
States should ensure that all actions regarding the legal recognition and allocation of tenure rights and duties are consistent with their existing obligations under national and international law, and with due regard to voluntary commitments under applicable regional and international instruments.
VGGT, Year 2012
Where States intend to recognize or allocate tenure rights, they should first identify all existing tenure rights and right holders, whether recorded or not. Indigenous peoples and other communities with customary tenure systems, smallholders and anyone else who could be affected should be included in the consultation process, consistent with paragraphs 3B.6 and 9.9. States should provide access to justice, consistent with paragraph 4.9 if people believe their tenure rights are not recognized.
VGGT, Year 2012
States should ensure that women and men enjoy the same rights in the newly recognized tenure rights, and that those rights are reflected in records. Where possible, legal recognition and allocation of tenure rights of individuals, families and communities should be done systematically, progressing area by area in accordance with national priorities, in order to provide the poor and vulnerable with full opportunities to acquire legal recognition of their tenure rights. Legal support should be provided, particularly to the poor and vulnerable. Locally appropriate approaches should be used [...]
VGGT, Year 2012
States should ensure that people whose tenure rights are recognized or who are allocated new tenure rights have full knowledge of their rights and also their duties. Where necessary, States should provide support to such people so that they can enjoy their tenure rights and fulfil their duties.
VGGT, Year 2012
Where it is not possible to provide legal recognition of tenure rights, States should prevent forced evictions that are inconsistent with their existing obligations under national and international law, and in accordance with the principles of these Guidelines.
VGGT, Year 2012
Where States own or control land, fisheries and forests, they should determine the use and control of these resources in light of broader social, economic and environmental objectives. They 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.
VGGT, Year 2012
Where States own or control land, fisheries and forests, the legitimate tenure rights of individuals and communities, including where applicable those with customary tenure systems, should be recognized, respected and protected, consistent with existing obligations under national and international law, and with due regard to voluntary commitments under applicable regional and international instruments. To this end, categories of legitimate tenure rights should be clearly defined and publicized, through a transparent process, and in accordance with national law.
VGGT, Year 2012
Noting that there are publicly-owned land, fisheries and forests that are collectively used and managed (in some national contexts referred to as commons), States should, where applicable, recognize and protect such publicly-owned land, fisheries and forests and their related systems of collective use and management, including in processes of allocation by the State.
VGGT, Year 2012
States should strive to establish up-to-date tenure information on land, fisheries and forests that they own or control by creating and maintaining accessible inventories. Such inventories should record the agencies responsible for administration as well as any legitimate tenure rights held by indigenous peoples and other communities with customary tenure systems and the private sector. Where possible, States should ensure that the publicly-held tenure rights are recorded together with tenure rights of indigenous peoples and other communities with customary tenure systems and the private [...]
VGGT, Year 2012
States should determine which of the land, fisheries and forests they own or control will be retained and used by the public sector, and which of these will be allocated for use by others and under what conditions.
VGGT, Year 2012
States should develop and publicize policies covering the use and control of land, fisheries and forests that are retained by the public sector and should strive to develop policies that promote equitable distribution of benefits from State-owned land, fisheries and forests. Policies should take into account the tenure rights of others and anyone who could be affected should be included in the consultation process consistent with the principles of consultation and participation of these Guidelines. The administration of, and transactions concerning, these resources should be undertaken [...]
VGGT, Year 2012
States should develop and publicize policies covering the allocation of tenure rights to others and, where appropriate, the delegation of responsibilities for tenure governance. Policies for allocation of tenure rights should be consistent with broader social, economic and environmental objectives. Local communities that have traditionally used the land, fisheries and forests should receive due consideration in the reallocation of tenure rights. Policies should take into account the tenure rights of others and anyone who could be affected should be included in the consultation, [...]
VGGT, Year 2012
States have the power to allocate tenure rights in various forms, from limited use to full ownership. Policies should recognize the range of tenure rights and right holders. Policies should specify the means of allocation of rights, such as allocation based on historical use or other means. Where necessary, those who are allocated tenure rights should be provided with support so they can enjoy their rights. States should determine whether they retain any form of control over land, fisheries and forests that have been allocated.
VGGT, Year 2012
States should allocate tenure rights and delegate tenure governance in transparent, participatory ways, using simple procedures that are clear, accessible and understandable to all, especially to indigenous peoples and other communities with customary tenure systems. Information in applicable languages should be provided to all potential participants, including through gender-sensitive messages. Where possible, States should ensure that newly allocated tenure rights are recorded with other tenure rights in a single recording system, or are linked by a common framework. States and [...]
VGGT, Year 2012
To the extent that resources permit, States should ensure that competent bodies responsible for land, fisheries and forests have the human, physical, financial and other forms of capacity. Where responsibilities for tenure governance are delegated, the recipients should receive training and other support so they can perform those responsibilities.
VGGT, Year 2012
States should monitor the outcome of allocation programmes, including the gender-differentiated impacts on food security and poverty eradication as well as their impacts on social, economic and environmental objectives, and introduce corrective measures as required.
VGGT, Year 2012
State and non-state actors should acknowledge that land, fisheries and forests have social, cultural, spiritual, economic, environmental and political value to indigenous peoples and other communities with customary tenure systems.
VGGT, Year 2012
Indigenous peoples and other communities with customary tenure systems that exercise self-governance of land, fisheries and forests should promote and provide equitable, secure and sustainable rights to those resources, with special attention to the provision of equitable access for women. Effective participation of all members, men, women and youth, in decisions regarding their tenure systems should be promoted through their local or traditional institutions, including in the case of collective tenure systems. Where necessary, communities should be assisted to increase the capacity of [...]
VGGT, Year 2012
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. In the case of indigenous peoples, States should meet their relevant obligations and voluntary commitments to protect, promote and implement human rights, including as appropriate from the International Labour Organization Convention (No 169) concerning Indigenous and Tribal Peoples in Independent Countries, the Convention on Biological Diversity and the United [...]
VGGT, Year 2012
States should provide appropriate recognition and protection of the legitimate tenure rights of indigenous peoples and other communities with customary tenure systems, consistent with existing obligations under national and international law, and with due regard to voluntary commitments under applicable regional and international instruments. Such recognition should take into account the land, fisheries and forests that are used exclusively by a community and those that are shared, and respect the general principles of responsible governance. Information on any such recognition should be [...]
VGGT, Year 2012
Where indigenous peoples and other communities with customary tenure systems have legitimate tenure rights to the ancestral lands on which they live, States should recognize and protect these rights. Indigenous peoples and other communities with customary tenure systems should not be forcibly evicted from such ancestral lands.
VGGT, Year 2012
States should consider adapting their policy, legal and organizational frameworks to recognize tenure systems of indigenous peoples and other communities with customary tenure systems. Where constitutional or legal reforms strengthen the rights of women and place them in conflict with custom, all parties should cooperate to accommodate such changes in the customary tenure systems.
VGGT, Year 2012
States should, in drafting tenure policies and laws, take into account the social, cultural, spiritual, economic and environmental values of land, fisheries and forests held under tenure systems of indigenous peoples and other communities with customary tenure systems. There should be full and effective participation of all members or representatives of affected communities, including vulnerable and marginalized members, when developing policies and laws related to tenure systems of indigenous peoples and other communities with customary tenure systems.
VGGT, Year 2012
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.
VGGT, Year 2012
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 [...]
VGGT, Year 2012
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.
VGGT, Year 2012
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.
VGGT, Year 2012
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.
VGGT, Year 2012
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 [...]
VGGT, Year 2012
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.
VGGT, Year 2012
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.
VGGT, Year 2012
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.
VGGT, Year 2012
States should endeavour to prevent corruption, particularly through increasing transparency, holding decision-makers accountable, and ensuring that impartial decisions are delivered promptly.
VGGT, Year 2012

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