Netherlands

Date of publication
January 1970

FAO (Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations) and other development partners are working together with countries to prepare Voluntary Guidelines that will provide practical guidance to states, civil society, the private sector, donors and development specialists on the responsible governance of tenure. By setting out principles and internationally accepted standards for responsible practices, the Voluntary Guidelines will provide a framework and point of reference that stakeholders can use when developing their own policies and actions.

Regional consultations on the proposed Voluntary Guidelines are an important part of the process. They bring together regionally representative, multidisciplinary groups to assess regional priorities and issues that should be considered when the Voluntary Guidelines are drafted. The regional consultation for Europe was hosted by the National Agency for Cadastre and Land Registration, Romania, and was opened by Ms Irina Alexe, the Secretary of State, Ministry of Administration and Interior. The consultation was cosponsored by the National Agency for Cadastre and Land Registration, Romania; GTZ (Gesellschaft für Technische Zusammenarbeit) and BMZ (Ministry for Economic Development), Germany; the World Bank and FAO. It was attended by 91 people from 28 countries and territories of the region who contributed their substantial knowledge and experience of the public sector, private sector, civil society and academia. Regional participants came from Albania, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Bulgaria, Croatia, Czech Republic, Denmark, Estonia, Finland, Georgia, Germany, Hungary, Italy, Kosovo, Latvia, Lithuania, The Former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia, Moldova, Montenegro, Netherlands, Norway, Poland, Romania, Serbia, Slovakia, Slovenia, Spain, Switzerland and United Kingdom.

Date of publication
January 1970
Geographical focus

The papers presented here formed a part of the background documentation of an Expert Consultation on Land Evaluation for Rural Purposes, which was convened by the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations in co-operation with the University of Agriculture and the International Institute for Land Reclamation and Improvement, Wageningen, Netherlands. The meeting was held at the International Agricultural Centre, Wageningen, 6-12 October 1972.

Date of publication
January 2013
Geographical focus

Brochure;

Date of publication
January 2014
Geographical focus

Factsheet

Date of publication
March 2014

USAID Land Tenure and Property Rights Division Chief Dr. Gregory Myers's Remarks from Partners’ Support to the Voluntary Guidelines & Land Governance: Exploiting Synergies & Measuring Impact. Remarks posted as written.
Madam Chair (Rachael Turner), thank you for the opportunity to speak today. On behalf of the United States, I would like to thank the U.K. Department for International Development for their excellent leadership as the inaugural Chair of the Global Donor Working Group on Land. We look forward to working with the incoming Chair of the Working Group—the Government of Germany.
I am here to introduce a new initiative: a comprehensive database and map of land governance programs that are funded by members of the Global Donor Working Group on Land. As we have heard, The Global Donor Working Group was officially launched last year to promote greater coordination on land and resource governance.
One of the primary goals of this group is to support implementation of the Voluntary Guidelines for the Responsible Governance of Tenure of Land, Fisheries, and Forests in the Context of National Food Security. From 2011 to 2012, I had the honor to Chair the negotiations of these Guidelines. Some of you in this room were part of those negotiations and know the efforts required to produce an agreement that was endorsed unanimously by 96 member countries, civil society and the private sector.
While the development and endorsement of the Voluntary Guidelines was an important achievement, their ultimate value will be determined by their implementation and measured in improved development outcomes for women, men and children around the globe. Delivering on this ambitious agenda in countries across the developing world will require coordinated action by donors and development agencies, civil society organizations, governments and the private sector.
In order for the Global Donor Working Group to identify opportunities for synergy and achieve greater coordination, we had to first develop a clear understanding of who is doing “what - where” in the land sector. To that end, the United States worked with the Global Donor Platform and members of the Global Donor Working Group on Land to lead a data collection and visualization initiative on the land and resource governance programs from 16 bi-lateral and multi-lateral donors and development agencies, including the development agencies from Austria, Belgium, Canada, Denmark, Germany, the European Commission, France, Japan, the Netherlands, Sweden, Switzerland, and the United Kingdom, as well as the Food and Agricultural Organization of the United Nations, the International Fund for Agricultural Development, and the World Bank.
The result of these efforts - negotiated through the Global Donor Working Group on Land - is a database of approximately 231 active programs in 103 countries with a total value of approximately $2.9 billion. The database contains information on the location, duration, funding, and scope of each program, as well as information on what specific aspects of the Voluntary Guidelines are addressed by each program’s activities. The database also allows donors to include links to supplemental resources, such as reports or program websites, and points of contact for each program.
An interactive map of the information in the database clearly displays where different donors and development agencies are working and what they are working on with respect to land and resource governance. This information can help us and other stakeholders better coordinate these programs and leverage our collective resources for maximum impact. As we have heard throughout this session, better communication and coordination among development partners can help us avoid unnecessary duplication, share lessons learned, leverage limited resources and most importantly amplify the impact of our development efforts.
While this initiative is an important step in the right direction, it is only one step. Our next endeavor could be to consider how we link this data to other sources of information: such as demand for land tenure reform, and/or capacity to address land tenure challenges, or with data sets illustrating the locations of large-scale land transactions or overlapping land use rights. Several data sets like this already exist, however, these data systems often use different standards and are incompatible with each other. One vital task we should consider is how to develop common data standards and shared platforms for all types of land and resources rights data and tools. If we do this, we may more fully realize the benefits of the Voluntary Guidelines, resulting in more robust economic growth, better food security and nutrition, and reduced conflict.

Date of publication
May 2014
Geographical focus

Council Directive 91/676/EEC sets out the legislative framework concerning the protection of waters against pollution caused by nitrates from agricultural sources. Derogations may be granted to Member States under certain conditions. The present Decision grants the derogation requested by the Netherlands for the purpose of allowing a higher amount of grazing livestock manure applied to the land each year than that provided for in subparagraph (a) of paragraph 2 of Annex III to Directive 91/676/EEC. This Decision applies on an individual basis to grassland farms.

Date of publication
January 1815
Geographical focus
Date of publication
January 1979

The Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Discrimination against Women (CEDAW) - currently ratified by 187 countries - is the only human rights treaty that deals specifically with rural women (Art. 14). Adopted in 1979 by the United Nations Generally Assembly, entered into force in 1981. The Convention defines discrimination against women as follows:

For the purposes of the present Convention, the term "discrimination against women" shall mean any distinction, exclusion or restriction made on the basis of sex which has the effect or purpose of impairing or nullifying the recognition, enjoyment or exercise by women, irrespective of their marital status, on a basis of equality of men and women, of human rights and fundamental freedoms in the political, economic, social, cultural, civil or any other field (Art. 1).

The Convention covers civil and political rights, as well as economic, social and cultural rights. Notably, it contains obligations on State Parties also in respect of discrimination by private parties, or in private contexts. Furthermore, CEDAW considers both de jure (in law) and de facto (in practice) discrimination. States that ratified - or otherwise acceded to - the Convention are legally bound to put its provisions in practice, even if they made reservations, which shouldn't be in any way "incompatible with the object and purpose" of the Convention (Art. 28).

Because it sets an international standard of women's human rights in areas such as education, employment, health care, marriage and family relations, politics, finance, and law, CEDAW provides a platform for lobbying governments to promote gender equality and hold them accountable at international level. CEDAW has been an important advocacy tool of the women's movement over the last 30 years.

States Parties of the Convention should submit periodic reports to the CEDAW Committee on the legislative, judicial, administrative or other measures which they have adopted to give effect to the provisions of the Convention (Art. 18). Civil society can present "shadow reports".  

Art. 14, 15 and 16 of CEDAW specifically deal with rural women, ownership of land, inheritance rights and right to access property. You can read the Convention on the OHCHR website, where you can also find information on past and current Sessions of the CEDAW Committe, including official States' Reports and civil society "shadow reports", the Committee's Concluding Observations, and General Recommendations.

Finally, you can find information for NGO participation.

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