If land grabbing is a global issue, won’t we need global initiatives to fight it?
The call for putting land rights on the global development agenda has been demanded for decades. Within the last decade, land rights and the governance of land has received more attention on the international level. Land is, in fact, a cross-cutting issue in the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). To be exact, the SDGs consist of land-related targets and indicators under SDG 1, 2, 5, 11 and 15, where the specific strengthening of land rights includes the link to poverty alleviation, food security, advancing women's empowerment and environmental stewardship.
Improving the governance and security of land tenure has however not been a high and direct priority of the SDGs to begin with—despite its cross-cutting nature. The international land community has been struggling to include explicit land targets and indicators for measuring the progress of land rights in the SDGs. In the materials section, you can read about how the community supporting land rights fought for the reclassification of land-related indicators from Tier III to Tier II (Tier III is the lowest status for the SDG indicators. You can read about the Tier classification for the SDGs by following this link: https://unstats.un.org/sdgs/iaeg-sdgs/tier-classification/).
Besides the SDGs, the Voluntary Guidelines on responsible Governance of Tenure (VGGT) is another global initiative to strengthen the governance of land, fisheries and forest in the context of national food security. If you are interested in learning more about the VGGTs, Thinks Rights has developed an advanced course about companies’ impact on land rights, where you can find more information about the VGGTs and how new technologies, such as blockchain, might be used to secure peoples land rights in the future. Check it out.
NAVIGATION FOR EXERCISES
To complete this unit, and eventually the course, you have to do 3 of the exercises below. By going through the exercises, you will discover which of the materials are required and which are optional for you to do in order to complete the exercises for this unit.
If you don't know about the SDGs, we recommend you start by watching the video “The Sustainable Development Goals- Action Towards 2030”. Otherwise, you can head directly to the article by Land Portal about Land and the SDGs. Afterwards, you should read the article “With Reclassification, SDG Indicator 1.4.2” and then the article “Status on the SDGs Land Indicators”. The last brief “Land Rights Indicators in the Post-2015 SDGs” is from a practical point of view about how the land rights indicators should be operationalised. Dig in!