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09-05: Land Governance and VGGT
Expropriation of Land Rights for Implementation of Mega Infrastructure Projects
Security of tenure is now placed at the top of the 2030 Global Agenda. This also relates to the issue of safeguarding land rights that is often at stake when implementing major infrastructure projects. There is an oppositional relation between security of tenure rights on the one hand and on the other hand a (public) wish to acquire land for infrastructure projects that in the longer term will create economic value for the entire community. This is a paradox because both issues contribute to achieving the SDGs.
The paper describes the experiences implementing a Northern Europe mega infrastructure project using a participatory approach to expropriation of land rights while also paving the way for economic development.
Land Governance for Development in the CEE region: Framing of Land Fragmentation as part of the Sustainable Development Goals
1Netherlands Enterprise Agency (RVO.nl), Netherlands; 2FAO Regional Office for Europe and Central Asia; 3University of Santiago de Compostela
Most transition countries in Central and Eastern Europe (CEE) face enormous challenges in developing a viable land structure, requiring a set of measures which is unprecedented in its scale and intensity to speed up this process. Analysis of policy initiatives in CEE countries illustrates that options for solving fragmentation and small scale of farms have concentrated on particular instruments like land consolidation and land banking. From discussions in the peer to peer LANDNET it can be concluded that land governance in CEE countries has scope for better coherence and more balanced and focused use of various instruments. Land governance should be developed as a comprehensive framework of mutually supportive instruments for development.
Framing of land fragmentation as part of the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) is believed to be a useful way to come to more specific policies in CEE countries and other regions of the world.
German Citizens Requesting Responsible Land Governance: Opportunities and Limitations of Citizens’ Initiatives in Germany – And Elsewhere
Independent Consultant, Germany
Local councils take decisions on land uses. If the reasons for such a decision are not conclusive to the public, benefits for local community not visible, the land in question of special importance for local citizens or if people fear a negative environmental impact, people sometimes start to protest. One reason why local populations’ protest arises is that they are not willing to tolerate any longer insufficient transparency of local politics, lack of meaningful public participation and local council decisions that do reflect neither the law, nor local citizens’ interests. In Germany, such situations sometimes lead to citizens’ initiatives, which – if successful – can result in referendums. The article looks at such citizens’ initiatives to find out:
a) How efficient this tool is to improve land governance and
b) To which extend or under which conditions it may be applied in other countires, including developing countries.
Private Law and Agricultural Development: Preparing, Negotiating and Implementing an Agricultural Land Investment Contract that is Consistent with the VGGT and CFS-RAI Principles
1UNIDROIT, Italy; 2FAO, Italy; 3IFAD, Italy
The VGGT and the CFS-RAI Principles set out high-level principles and standards to promote secure tenure rights, equitable access and responsible agricultural investment. For prospective investors seeking to lease land for an agricultural investment, as well as for host States and any legitimate tenure right holders that might be affected by that investment, preparing and implementing a lease that is consistent with those principles and standards can be challenging. A Working Group comprised of experts, international organization representatives and stakeholders is developing a future international instrument to provide concise legal guidance on operationalizing those principles and standards. While not endorsing large-scale land acquisitions but acknowledging they continue to occur, such guidance is to raise awareness about alternative investment models (e.g. contract farming) and to support due diligence, impact assessments and use of contractual safeguards in leases to protect legitimate tenure right holders, human rights, livelihoods, food security and the environment.
Human Rights Based Monitoring of Land Governance
1TMG Research. TMG ThinkTank for Sustainability, Germany; 2German Institute for Human Rights
There is a currently a range of initiatives to further strengthen the monitoring of land governance at national level, and the implementation of Voluntary Guidelines on the Responsible Governance of Tenure of Land, Forests and Fisheries in the Context of National Food Security (VGGT) in particular. This paper describes a human rights based approach to land governance monitoring that aims at addressing the core of the VGGT, the focus on vulnerable and marginalized groups. It reports on the outcomes of two multi-actor processes conducted in Côte d’Ivoire and Kenya on the design of human rights based monitoring of land governance in these two countries. The paper concludes by highlighting the contribution of human rights based land governance monitoring to the portfolio of land governance monitoring approaches.