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Liberia holds dialogue on responsible governance of land tenure 

A national dialogue commemorating the celebration of the 10th Anniversary of the Voluntary Guidelines for Responsible Governance of Tenure for Land, Forest and Fisheries (VGGT), will be held in Liberia on 17 November 2022.

It will be co-convened by the Multi-Actor Platform on Land Governance and Responsible Agricultural Investment (MAP Liberia Land Platform), the Liberia Land Authority (LLA), Ministry of Agriculture (MoA) and the United Nations’ Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO).

According to a release, the dialogue is one of several in-country activities that will create an opportunity for stakeholders to take stock of the VGGT implementation process in terms of progress made and the challenges encountered.

It will also renew concrete political commitment, and to identify the next steps for the further implementation of the guidelines.

The VGGT is an internationally negotiated document by the Committee on World Food Security (CFS) under the Food and Agriculture Organization of the UN. 

The negotiations, chaired by the United States, occurred over a nine-month period and involved 96 member countries and over 30 civil society organizations. 

The document was adopted by the Committee on World Food Security in May 2012. Since then, attention has been shifted to the implementation of the guidelines.

The VGGT provides a framework for countries to use in the establishment of laws and policies, strategies, and programs, which clarify and secure tenure rights. 

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The guidelines accommodate many differing viewpoints on ‘Best Practices’ and introduce a broad range of structures that can be relevant in all parts of the world. 

All member countries of the UN Committee on World Food Security have committed to upholding and applying the VGGT principles, but considerable challenges remain with regard to their implementation.

The GIZ’s “Global Program Responsible for Land Policy (GPRLP),” the International Land Coalition (ILC)’s “National Land Coalition – formerly the National Engagement Strategies (NES),”and Welthungerhilfe-supported “Land for Life (LfL)”-Initiative are among the global programs promoting the implementation of the VGGT in the land sector. 

In collaboration with FAO, the organizations have identified 12 countries including Benin, Burkina Faso, Cambodia, Cameroun, Ethiopia, Laos, Liberia, Madagascar, Malawi, Senegal, Sierra Leone, and Uganda, where they will strengthen coordinated efforts in supporting certain activities.

They are an expert-led “light” assessment in each of the 12 countries to understand to which extent the VGGT has been used as a reference framework for policy reform.

The assessment will also understand whether key provisions of the VGGT have been translated into national laws and regulations and where major gaps are, and in which instances the VGGT has been used to develop tools and methodologies to improve governance of tenure at the local level.

During the national dialogue, a number of concrete strategic follow-up activities will be planned all intended towards reflecting and (re-)focusing on national-level roadmaps for land reform, oriented around the key vocabulary and principles of the VGGT.

The national dialogue is bringing together some 55 – 60 participants from all the constituencies including the government, private sector, the academia, civil society organizations (CSOs) and other relevant international development partners.

The global theme for the VGGT+10 Anniversary Celebrations is Taking Stock and Raising Awareness and Commitment for the further implementation of the Guidelines.

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The New Dawn is Liberia’s Truly Independent Newspaper Published by Searchlight Communications Inc. Established on November 16, 2009, with its first hard copy publication on January 22, 2010. The office is located on UN Drive in Monrovia Liberia. The New Dawn is bilingual (both English & French).
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