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International standards, mechanisms and guidelines relating to land, including tenure

Websites/Multiple Documents

Title: Right to Security of Tenure
Description/subject: Links to UN documents plus reference to: (on http://unjobs.org): Agriculture forestry and fishing > Agricultural economics and policy > Land tenure... Agriculture forestry and fishing > Forestry > Land tenure... Human settlements > Housing > Eviction... Human settlements > Housing > Rental housing... Human settlements > Housing > Right to housing... Human settlements > Settlement planning > Squatters... Social conditions and equity > Human rights > Right to housing
Language: English
Source/publisher: UN Resource Directory
Format/size: html
Alternate URLs: http://unjobs.org
Date of entry/update: 12 November 2011


Title: Right to security of tenure (results of a Google seach)
Description/subject: 34,000 results for a google search for "Right to security of tenure" (November 2014)
Language: English
Source/publisher: Google
Format/size: html
Date of entry/update: 12 November 2011


Title: USAID LAND TENURE and PROPERTY RIGHTS PORTAL
Description/subject: "We envision a world in which land governance systems, both formal and informal, are effective, accessible, and responsive for all. This is possible when land tenure and property rights are recognized as critical development issues and when the United States Government and its development partners demonstrate consistent attention and a firm commitment to supporting coordinated policies and programs that clarify and strengthen the land tenure and property rights of all members of society, enabling broad-based economic growth, gender equality, reduced incidence of conflicts, enhanced food security, improved resilience to climate change, and effective natural resource management..."
Language: English
Source/publisher: USAID
Format/size: html
Date of entry/update: 02 August 2015


Individual Documents

Title: “We are not afraid” Land rights defenders: attacked for confronting unbridled development
Date of publication: December 2014
Description/subject: "The scale of attacks against land rights defenders is particularly preoccupying and should attract our utmost reaction and urgent mobilisation. The toll they pay, together with their families and communities, is dramatic, be it killings, forced disappearances, harassment or criminalisation. Caught in the crossfire between poor land users fighting for the respect of their basic human rights and powerful economic actors fighting for juicy profits, they account as one of the most vulnerable categories of human rights defenders. This particular vulnerability is due to various factors including the fact that they challenge important economic interests pushed by powerful actors such as States and corporations, the fact that they generally operate in remote areas in which the rule of law is weak and the access to protection mechanisms is difficult. Moreover, land rights defenders operate within a weak legal framework governing land rights and land deals, in a global context of intense pressures over land and resources. Behind attacks against them, the situations on which they intervene are those where authorities are shunning their obligation to ensure the fulfilment of their human rights obligations. This, in turn, portrays a world where development plans and investments impacting on land, are made at the expense of the local users who depend on these lands for their survival. Authorities and political actors often favour economic actors, be they national or transnational ones, at the expense of the rights of their own populations. The balance of power becomes dramatically unequal and the efforts to bring the respect for human rights at the centre of so-called development are clearly insufficient..."
Language: English
Source/publisher: Observatory for the Protection of Human Rights Defenders (OMCT, FIDH)
Format/size: pdf (11MB)
Alternate URLs: http://www.omct.org/files/2014/12/22918/obs_2014_uk_web2.pdf
Date of entry/update: 05 January 2015


Title: Voluntary Guidelines on the Responsible Governance of Tenure of Land, Fisheries and Forests in the Context of National Food Security (Burmese/ ျမန္မာဘာသာ)
Date of publication: 2012
Description/subject: Preliminary: 1. Objectives... 2. Nature and scope..... General matters: 3. Guiding principles of responsible tenure governance... 3A General principles... 3B Principles of implementation... 4. Rights and responsibilities related to tenure... 5. Policy, legal and organizational frameworks related to tenure... 6. Delivery of services..... Legal recognition and allocation of tenure rights and duties: 7. Safeguards... 8. Public land, fisheries and forests... 9. Indigenous peoples and other communities with customary tenure systems... 10. Informal tenure..... Transfers and other changes to tenure rights and duties: 11. Markets... 12. Investments... 13. Land consolidation and other readjustment approaches... 14. Restitution... 15. Redistributive reforms... 16. Expropriation and compensation..... Administration of tenure: 17. Records of tenure rights... 18. Valuation... 19. Taxation... 20. Regulated spatial planning... 21. Resolution of disputes over tenure rights... 22. Transboundary matters..... Responses to climate change and emergencies: 23. Climate change... 24. Natural disasters... 25. Conflicts in respect to tenure of land, fisheries and forests..... Promotion, implementation, monitoring and evaluation: "Tenure is the relationship, whether defined legally or customarily, among people with respect to land (including associated buildings and structures), fisheries, forests and other natural resources. The rules of tenure define how access is granted to use and control these resources, as well as associated responsibilities and restraints. Tenure thus usually reflects the power structure in a society, and social stability may depend on whether or not there is a broad consensus on the fairness of the tenure system.".......These Guidelines seek to: 1. improve tenure governance by providing guidance and information on internationally accepted practices for systems that deal with the rights to use, manage and control land, fisheries and forests.... 2. contribute to the improvement and development of the policy, legal and organizational frameworks regulating the range of tenure rights that exist over these resources... 3. enhance the transparency and improve the functioning of tenure systems... 4. strengthen the capacities and operations of implementing agencies; judicial authorities; local governments; organizations of farmers and small-scale producers, of fishers, and of forest users; pastoralists; indigenous peoples and other communities; civil society; private sector; academia; and all persons concerned with tenure governance as well as to promote the cooperation between the actors mentioned..."
Language: Burmese/ ျမန္မာဘာသာ (Metadata: English)
Source/publisher: Food and Agriculture Organisation (FAO)
Format/size: pdf (2.4MB, 2.3MB)
Alternate URLs: http://www.burmalibrary.org/docs20/FAO-VG_on_tenure-bu-ocr-tu.pdf
Date of entry/update: 21 December 2014


Title: Voluntary Guidelines on the Responsible Governance of Tenure of Land, Fisheries and Forests in the Context of National Food Security (English)
Date of publication: 2012
Description/subject: Preliminary: 1. Objectives... 2. Nature and scope..... General matters: 3. Guiding principles of responsible tenure governance... 3A General principles... 3B Principles of implementation... 4. Rights and responsibilities related to tenure... 5. Policy, legal and organizational frameworks related to tenure... 6. Delivery of services..... Legal recognition and allocation of tenure rights and duties: 7. Safeguards... 8. Public land, fisheries and forests... 9. Indigenous peoples and other communities with customary tenure systems... 10. Informal tenure..... Transfers and other changes to tenure rights and duties: 11. Markets... 12. Investments... 13. Land consolidation and other readjustment approaches... 14. Restitution... 15. Redistributive reforms... 16. Expropriation and compensation..... Administration of tenure: 17. Records of tenure rights... 18. Valuation... 19. Taxation... 20. Regulated spatial planning... 21. Resolution of disputes over tenure rights... 22. Transboundary matters..... Responses to climate change and emergencies: 23. Climate change... 24. Natural disasters... 25. Conflicts in respect to tenure of land, fisheries and forests..... Promotion, implementation, monitoring and evaluation: "Tenure is the relationship, whether defined legally or customarily, among people with respect to land (including associated buildings and structures), fisheries, forests and other natural resources. The rules of tenure define how access is granted to use and control these resources, as well as associated responsibilities and restraints. Tenure thus usually reflects the power structure in a society, and social stability may depend on whether or not there is a broad consensus on the fairness of the tenure system.".......These Guidelines seek to: 1. improve tenure governance by providing guidance and information on internationally accepted practices for systems that deal with the rights to use, manage and control land, fisheries and forests.... 2. contribute to the improvement and development of the policy, legal and organizational frameworks regulating the range of tenure rights that exist over these resources... 3. enhance the transparency and improve the functioning of tenure systems... 4. strengthen the capacities and operations of implementing agencies; judicial authorities; local governments; organizations of farmers and small-scale producers, of fishers, and of forest users; pastoralists; indigenous peoples and other communities; civil society; private sector; academia; and all persons concerned with tenure governance as well as to promote the cooperation between the actors mentioned..."
Language: English
Source/publisher: Food and Agriculture Organisation (FAO)
Format/size: pdf (552K-reduced version; 723K-original; 156K-draft; )
Alternate URLs: http://www.fao.org/docrep/016/i2801e/i2801e.pdf
http://www.fao.org/fileadmin/user_upload/nr/land_tenure/pdf/First_Draft_VG_English_Final.pdf
Date of entry/update: 12 November 2011


Title: COMMUNAL TENURE AND THE GOVERNANCE OF COMMON PROPERTY RESOURCES IN ASIA
Date of publication: April 2011
Description/subject: Summary: "This paper presents an overview of the distinctive features of communal tenure in different community-based land and natural resource management systems. Communal tenure refers to situations where groups, communities, or one or more villages have well defined, exclusive rights to jointly own and/or manage particular areas of natural resources such as land, forest and water. These are often referred to as common pool resources: many rural communities are dependent on these resources for their livelihood. In communal tenure, both the boundaries of the resource owned in common and group membership are clearly defined. These are necessary conditions to exclude outsiders and to secure the rights of group members so that these rights cannot be taken away or changed unilaterally. Two models of communal tenure are presented in the paper; these models differ in terms of the function of the state, the length of tenure and the characteristics of the resource system concerned. In the first model, the permanent title model, the state fully and permanently hands the land over to local indigenous communities for private collective ownership. In this situation, the resource system is often multi-facetted, comprising agricultural lands as well as forest, water and pasture land. Permanent title for indigenous peoples’ communal land is a special claim supported by national legislation and by international conventions, coven ants and declarations that many countries have endorsed. Examples of permanent title in Asia include the Philippines and Cambodia, where legislation provides for collective rights of indigenous communities. In many instances such as Cambodia, Philippines or, for instance, Papua New Guinea, the indigenous groups or communities that are eligible by law for private and permanent communal tenure need to become a legal entity to be recognized as a communal right-holder by the state. This may require community incorporation. However, the process of incorporation can be cumbersome for people who are not necessarily literate in the national language or in the demands of state bureaucracy. In the second model, the delegated management model, the state maintains ownership of the resources and delegates management to local groups, most often villages, for a specific period of time, with the possibility of renewal. Such agreements are generally subject to national legislation only. In this case, the resources are often uniform and relate to, for example, community forestry, community fishery, pasture or irrigation group tenure that all come in many different forms with different bundles of rights. This model is far more common than the first, with Nepal, India, Thailand, Cambodia or Mongolia providing examples. In addition to these two general models, one may still find traditional customary communal tenure in remote communities. Here the state does not actually regulate or intervene in the management of resources, but all local communities in the area would know of the local rules of harvesting and withdrawal rights. Both the permanent title in communal land and the d elegated management model may originate from an existing customary arrangement, where the rules are known and have been adhered to by right-holders – and their neighbors – for generations. The state can acknowledge these existing communal systems through formalization of existing rules and rights. In a different situation, where customary arrangements are no longer present and the resource is degraded and under open access, the formalization of Communal tenure and the governance of common property resources in Asia delegated management of, for example, a new community forest, may imply setting up or inducing communal tenure institutions, where they did not previously exist. Inducing institutions is a major exercise in social engineering; the resulting induced institution must be carefully aligned with the physical and natural characteristics of the resources or resource system and, ideally, should build on an existing set of norms in the community. Where governments and/or donor projects have a pro-poor approach in inducing communal tenure for natural resource management, the pro-poor targeting mechanisms must be mainstreamed in the institution building. In all communal tenure systems, the physical and biological characteristics of the resource system factor decisively into the regulatory frameworks that communities establish. One must match with the other. In situations where both subsistence and market value products can be withdrawn from the resource system there are also many kinds of interlinked and embedded rights: the communal tenure is usually embedded within a larger nested hierarchy of institutions." Nowadays the communities will often need support an d recognition by the state in order to manage effectively their common pool resou rces. As a consequence, communities will need to establish two sets of rule s: (i) those rules that constitute the community as an entity in the eyes of the state and (ii) those that define internal rules of benefit sharing. Whereas constitutional rules de fine the community as a legal entity, internal community rules establish the management r ights in the resources and the fair appropriation of benefits. Interest in communal tenure and common property res ource management has risen since the 1980s among academics, governments and internat ional development organizations working on land and natural resources management. D ebates on communal tenure are still ongoing in many countries in Asia, in the con text of market pressures and dynamics, which call for privatization to increase productivity, and in the context of big business vying for a stake in valuable land and other natural resources, in some instances leading to land grabbing. The current mar ket driven pressures on natural resources create both challenges and opportunities for communities and governments. Overall, policies and institutions that promote acc ountability and good governance over these resources, both by the government at nat ional and local level and by communities, are required. Some specific approaches , such as communities’ mapping of their territories, are proving useful tools to s afeguard their lands, although they are not sufficient conditions: the wider political and regulatory environment must be supportive too. Communal tenure will very likely play a significant role in the policies and actions for climate change mitigation. With the emergence of in itiatives for Reduced Emissions from Deforestation and Degradation (REDD and REDD+) , governance and benefit sharing of carbon finance become critical questions in defining who owns the carbon stocked in forest. Marketable community rights to t his special resource unit (stocked carbon) must be supported by national legislation t hat favors communal tenure of some of the carbon properties. This may lead to a separa tion of rights to carbon from the broader rights to the forest and land, an aspect no t yet addressed by theoretical work on communal tenure..."
Author/creator: Kirsten Ewers Andersen
Language: English
Source/publisher: Food and Agriculture Organisation (FAO)
Format/size: pdf (464K-reduced version; 3.12MB-original)
Alternate URLs: http://www.fao.org/docrep/014/am658e/am658e00.pdf
Date of entry/update: 08 December 2014


Title: LEGAL RECOGNITION OF INDIGENOUS GROUPS
Date of publication: December 1998
Description/subject: "...The main purpose of this paper is to examine legal measures taken to recognize indigenous groups and provide for their ongoing operation; the paper starts, therefore, from an underlying assumption that indigenous groups have continued relevance to the needs and wishes of the people who operate within them. Nevertheless, while it is beyond the scope and purpose of the paper to explore this complex issue in any depth, it may be useful to present – however briefly – some of the arguments made for and against the preservation of indigenous groups. In the course of this brief discussion, the focus of the present paper will be narrowed to a concentration on the role of indigenous groups in the ownership and control of land and other natural resources. It should, perhaps, be stressed at the beginning that it is the role of groups as groups which is under consideration - that is, the group as an entity over and above the individual members which make it up..."
Author/creator: J. S. Fingleton
Language: English
Source/publisher: FAO Legal Papers Online December 1998
Format/size: pdf (270K)
Date of entry/update: 02 August 2015