Working towards greater community control over land, forests and natural resources

UN Voluntary Guidelines for Land Tenure and Access Rights to Land, Fisheries and Forests

The Food and Agriculture Organisation of the United Nations has coordinated the preparation of the Voluntary Guidelines for Land Tenure and Access Rights to Land, Fisheries and Forests, approved by 96 countries on March 14, 2012.  The Guidelines’ purpose is to improve the governance of tenure of land, fisheries and forests.

These Voluntary Guidelines are intended to assist States, civil society and the private sector in improving the governance of tenure, and thus contribute to alleviating hunger and poverty, empowering the poor and vulnerable, enhancing the environment, supporting national and local economic development, and reforming public administration. Voluntary Guidelines set out principles and internationally accepted standards for responsible practices. They provide a framework that States 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.

As a next step the Voluntary Guidelines will be considered for final approval by the CFS at a special session in Rome in mid-May. Upon the adoption, the focus will shift to the implementation of the Voluntary Guidelines.

Download the Final Draft of the Voluntary Guidelines.

Moderator’s note on 14th of June, 2013: The Voluntary Guidelines exist also in Lao language version and can be downloaded here.


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