Governance of the Earth
GOVERNANCE OF THE EARTH: Voluntary guidelines on responsible governance of land tenure, fisheries and forests in the context of national food security.
Land, fisheries and forests - Our valuable natural resources
Voluntary Guidelines will play an important role in meeting the challenge of ending hunger and guaranteeing for every child, woman and man, food safety in an economically, socially and environmentally sustainable way.
Land, fisheries and forests and other natural resources represent the platform that supports the livelihoods of individuals and are the foundation upon which social, cultural and religious practices stand. The pressures exerted on these natural resources are increasing as they seek out new lands where they grow crops or give way to urban expansion, or when land is abandoned as a result of soil degradation, climate change or conflict.
In response to these phenomena, FAO and its partners have begun to prepare guidelines to strengthen governance of land tenure, fisheries and forests.
These guidelines aim to promote security of tenure rights, ensure equitable access to land, fisheries and forests as a means to eradicate hunger and poverty, support sustainable development and improve the environment. The Guidelines were officially ratified by the Committee on World Food Security on 11 May 2012.
Land tenure governance: key to sustainable development
Land tenure, fishing and forests. Land tenure is the relationship between people with respect to land, fishing and forests. The land tenure regulation determines who can use what land resources, for how long and under what conditions.
2.1. Access to Resources. The livelihoods of many individuals depend on equitable access and secure tenure of land, fisheries and forests. Safe access to these resources is important to achieve the eradication of hunger and poverty, to support sustainable development and to improve the environment.
2.2. Tenure governance is the procedure by which access to natural resources is managed and controlled within society. Tenure governance is the art of reconciling opposing priorities and interests of different groups and understanding decision making by individuals and groups; the obligation of the government to request accountability of actions to third parties, and the observation that society imposes on its members to rights, freedoms, guarantees and laws. Effective resolution of ownership problems depends to a large extent on the quality of governance.
2.3. Ownership governance is important both in regulatory administration and in informal and consensual tenure agreements.
The requirements of responsible governance of tenure are:
- Recognize and respect the legitimate rights of ownership and the people who own them.
- Safeguarding legitimate rights of tenure and the people who own them.
- Promote and facilitate the enjoyment of legitimate rights of ownership.
- Provide access to court proceedings to control cases of violation of rights.
- Avoid disputes over tenure, violent conflict, and opportunities for corruption.
Governance responsible for the use and control of natural resources should be based on human dignity, non-discrimination, equity and justice, gender equality, rule of law, transparency and accountability.
The management of natural resources should be done through consultation and through the participation of those with legitimate tenure rights. The consequences of the measure