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VGGT for the protection of customary rights

Presentation by Marianna Bicchieri for the Second Regional Land Forum

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Marianna Bicchieri
Land Tenure Officer
29 May 2018
The Voluntary Guidelines on the Responsible
Governance of Tenure of Land, Fisheries and Forests in
the Context of National Food Security (VGGT)
For the Protection of Customary Tenure Rights
Second Regional Land Forum
Socially legitimized land tenure rights vs. lack of formal recognition
Evictions when land considered “free of occupation” / granted to
investors
CTS also under stress in the context of global mega trends – CC,
demographics, urbanization
Background: Tenure Systems
More than two billion people worldwide access
land and NR through customary tenure systems
(USAID, 2011)
Land and NR are much more than just an asset
culture, spirituality, shelter, livelihoods, food security
Set of principles and internationally accepted good
practices to tackle land and NR governance issues
Instrument to foster the dialogue among different
stakeholders
A new opportunity to soundly address long stand issues
Recognition and protection
of customary tenure
systems if crucial!
VGGT CAN BE A USEL TOOL
FOR THAT PURPOSE
Customary Tenure
Local rules, institutions and practices governing land,
fisheries and forests that have, over time and use, gained
social legitimacy and become embedded in the fabric of
a society.
Although customary rules are not often written down,
they may enjoy widespread social sanction and may be
generally adhered to by members of a local population.
CT is not only collective, but is often characterised by a
mix of individual and collective rights within a certain
area;
Source: FAO, 2016
Five general principles – the basic
elements of responsible governance of
tenure. States should:
1. Recognize and respect
legitimate tenure rights and people who
hold them
2. Safeguard and protect
against threats
legitimate tenure rights
3. Promote enjoyment
of legitimate tenure rights
4. Provide access to justice
in case of violation of legitimate tenure
rights
5. Prevent disputes, conflicts
and corruption
States should recognize and protect
the legitimate tenure rights of
indigenous peoples and other
communities with customary tenure
systems (…)
(VGGT, Paragraph 9.4)
VGGT and Customary Tenure
Part 3 Legal recognition and allocation of tenure
rights and duties

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VGGT for the protection of customary rights

  • 1. Marianna Bicchieri Land Tenure Officer 29 May 2018 The Voluntary Guidelines on the Responsible Governance of Tenure of Land, Fisheries and Forests in the Context of National Food Security (VGGT) For the Protection of Customary Tenure Rights Second Regional Land Forum
  • 2. Socially legitimized land tenure rights vs. lack of formal recognition Evictions when land considered “free of occupation” / granted to investors CTS also under stress in the context of global mega trends – CC, demographics, urbanization Background: Tenure Systems More than two billion people worldwide access land and NR through customary tenure systems (USAID, 2011) Land and NR are much more than just an asset culture, spirituality, shelter, livelihoods, food security
  • 3. Set of principles and internationally accepted good practices to tackle land and NR governance issues Instrument to foster the dialogue among different stakeholders A new opportunity to soundly address long stand issues Recognition and protection of customary tenure systems if crucial! VGGT CAN BE A USEL TOOL FOR THAT PURPOSE
  • 4. Customary Tenure Local rules, institutions and practices governing land, fisheries and forests that have, over time and use, gained social legitimacy and become embedded in the fabric of a society. Although customary rules are not often written down, they may enjoy widespread social sanction and may be generally adhered to by members of a local population. CT is not only collective, but is often characterised by a mix of individual and collective rights within a certain area; Source: FAO, 2016
  • 5. Five general principles – the basic elements of responsible governance of tenure. States should: 1. Recognize and respect legitimate tenure rights and people who hold them 2. Safeguard and protect against threats legitimate tenure rights 3. Promote enjoyment of legitimate tenure rights 4. Provide access to justice in case of violation of legitimate tenure rights 5. Prevent disputes, conflicts and corruption
  • 6. States should recognize and protect the legitimate tenure rights of indigenous peoples and other communities with customary tenure systems (…) (VGGT, Paragraph 9.4) VGGT and Customary Tenure Part 3 Legal recognition and allocation of tenure rights and duties
  • 7. Where indigenous peoples and other communities with CTS 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, Paragraph 9.5) VGGT and Customary Tenure Part 3 Legal recognition and allocation of tenure rights and duties
  • 8. States should consider adapting their policy, legal and organizational frameworks to recognize tenure systems of indigenous peoples and other communities with customary tenure systems. (…) (VGGT, Paragraph 9.6) VGGT and Customary Tenure Part 3 Legal recognition and allocation of tenure rights and duties
  • 9. … Indigenous Peoples Defining… IPs are defined as “distinct cultural groups… who are indigenous to the countries in which they live and have distinct identities and ways of life”. (UN Rapporteur on the Rights of IP) …and other communities with customary tenure systems - Ethnic or national minorities, rural or local community, scheduled tribes, hill tribes…
  • 10. Does “legitimate” means formal/legal/statutory rights? FREQUENT QUESTIONS Should only legally recognized rights be considered “legitimate”?
  • 11. The VGGT explicitly consider as “legitimate” not only those tenure rights formally recognized by national law, but also those rights that, while not legally recognized, are considered to be socially legitimate in local societies. LEGITIMATE TENURE RIGHTS (see e.g. VGGT paragraphs 4.4. and 5.3)
  • 12. This means that… Customary tenure rights …ARE LEGITIMATE TENURE RIGHTS
  • 13. THROUGH PRINCIPLES IN ACTION for the recognition and protection of customary tenure rights COUNTRY EXPERIENCES
  • 14. Part I Objectives and Principles Chapter I • “6. The objectives of the National Land Use Policy are as follows: (…) (c) To recognize and protect customary land tenure rights and procedures of the ethnic nationalities;” Part VIII Land Use Rights of the Ethnic Nationalities • 64. Customary land use tenure systems shall be recognized in the National Land Law in order to ensure awareness, compliance and application of traditional land use practices of ethnic nationalities, formal recognition of customary land use rights, protection of these rights (…). • 66. When preparing and revising customary land use maps and records of ethnic nationalities, the responsible government departments and organizations shall do the following: (…) (b) Formally recognize and protect the customary land tenure rights and related local customary land management practices of ethnic groups, whether or not existing land use is registered, recorded or mapped; Myanmar – National Land Use Policy
  • 15. • Social justice • Respect to human’s rights (such as the right to food, shelter and adequate standard of living) No doubt about the importance of recognizing and protecting customary tenure Economically Smart: Good governance and tenure security = enabling environment for responsible agricultural investment which can lead to increased productivity and equitable social development.
  • 16. CHALLENGE: How to translate this principles in reality? • An initial step is gathering reliable information for informed policy dialogue.
  • 17. • Challenges and Opportunities to the Recognition and Protection of Customary Tenure Systems Cambodia, Lao PDR, Myanmar and Vietnam POLICY GUIDANCE NOTES
  • 18. Thank You! Marianna.Bicchieri@fao.org Land Tenure Officer FOOD AND AGRICULTURE ORGANIZATION OF THE UNITED NATIONS Regional Office for Asia and the Pacific