World Heritage no. 69: Agricultural landscapes
UNESCO World Heritage Centre, October 2013

Agricultural landscapes are a testimony to humanity’s long interaction with the land, often unique examples of people and nature co-existing and influencing each other. They demonstrate a rich cultural and landscape diversity, sustainable land-use systems and in some cases people’s daily struggle for survival under extreme climatic and environmental conditions. The 19th-century coffee plantations in Cuba; Stari Grad Plain in Croatia, where grapes and olives have been harvested since ancient Greek times; Konso Cultural Landscape in Ethiopia, where fortified settlements embody a living cultural tradition stretching back twenty-one generations and adapted to a harsh environment; and the subak water management system in Bali (Indonesia), where the spiritual, human and natural worlds are brought together in a philosophy that has shaped the landscape while ensuring prolific rice production – all of these are exceptional examples of an enduring and harmonious interaction. The issue also presents the new World Heritage sites inscribed during the 37th session of the World Heritage Committee, Phnom Penh (Cambodia) in June 2013. Read the issue …

Indigenous peoples’ rights to lands, territories, and resources
Birgitte Feiring, International Land Coalition, 2013 | ISBN: 978-92-95093-90-4

Published as a contribution to the debate towards the 2014 World Conference on Indigenous Peoples, this study assesses the global and regional instruments, mechanisms and initiatives in regard to indigenous rights to lands, territories and resources. It contains a review of regional situations of indigenous people in Asia, Africa and Latin America, showing how the situation of indigenous peoples varies across regions and countries; and also offers an analysis on how indigenous peoples’ land rights are related to three key thematic areas: women’s rights and access to land and resources; community conserved areas; and climate change and REDD+.

The study concludes with a summary of key trends and challenges, including the non-recognition of tenure rights, and further identifies key opportunities, including strong or emerging indigenous peoples’ organizations, and progressive legislation and policy developments. The study confirms what was suspected: indigenous peoples entertain special relationships with their lands, territories and resources, as these are central to their world view, their cultures, livelihoods, spirituality, identity, and their continued existence as distinct peoples. Read the ILC press release … Download the study [pdf] …

Slow Food and FAO launch “Quinoa in the Kitchen”
FAO release, 3 December 2013

ROME, ITALY: The Slow Food movement and FAO officially launched the book, “Quinoa in the Kitchen,” to continue to promote awareness about the super-food’s potential, as the International Year of Quinoa 2013 draws to a close. The book gives an overview of quinoa’s roots in the history and culture of the central Andean high plateau, geographically extending across the borders of Peru and Bolivia, which together account for the vast majority of quinoa production in the world. Since quinoa is still new to many beyond the Andes, the book includes a selection of quinoa recipes created by some of the world’s top chefs. Read the release … Download the book [pdf] …

Improving governance of forest tenure: A practical guide
J. Mayers, E. Morrison, L. Rolington, K. Studd and S. Turrall
Governance of Tenure Technical Guide no. 2, IIED and FAO, 2013 | E-ISBN 978-92-5-107587-6

Intended to support the use of the Voluntary Guidelines on the Responsible Governance of Tenure of Land, Fisheries and Forests in the Context of National Food Security, this practical guide aims to improve decision-making with regard to forest tenure in four critical areas: understanding, organizing, engaging and ensuring. It starts by highlighting some important opportunities and challenges in governance today and directs readers to further information. It then lays out a toolkit containing some 86 tools described in summary form and 9 key tools explained in some depth. These tools are labelled for their appropriateness in different governance contexts and for the amount of time, money and skills needed to use them. A glossary and extensive web-linked bibliography for further inspiration are also provided. Download the guide [pdf] …

Implementing Improved Tenure Governance in Fisheries: A Technical Guide to Support the Implementation of the Voluntary Guidelines on the Responsible Governance of Tenure of Land, Fisheries and Forests in the Context of National Food Security
FAO, preliminary version, September 2013

This guide has been developed to assist in the implementation of the Voluntary Guidelines with regard to fisheries in marine and inland waters. It explains the characteristics of the fisheries sector and provides technical guidance, aiming to contribute to the improvement of governance of tenure in fisheries. Special attention is given to small-scale fisheries, considering the sector’s particular importance to food security and nutrition, poverty eradication, equitable development and sustainable resource utilization. Part 1 of the Guide provides explanations with regard to important concepts for understanding tenure in fisheries, including tenure rights, customary and informal tenure systems, and a human rights approach in small-scale fisheries governance and development. Part 2 discusses approaches for how to implement responsible tenure in fisheries and is directed to those who are tasked with implementing the Guidelines in the fisheries sector and for the benefit of small-scale fishing communities. The Guide focuses in particular on issues of concern with regard to tenure in the context of livelihoods of vulnerable and marginalized groups. Download the Guide [pdf] …

Land Tenure Journal
FAO, September 2013

This issue of Land Tenure Journal focuses on governance of tenure in small-scale fisheries. In addition to an article by Anthony Charles on key considerations, it includes case studies from Southeast Asia, Lake Victoria in Tanzania, the Sami in Norway, South Africa and Grenada. The case of tenure rights of fishing communities in marine protected areas is also addressed. Download the issue [pdf] …

Synthesis Paper: Indigenous peoples’ rights to lands, territories and resources
International Land Coalition, 2013

This brief presents an overview of issues related to indigenous peoples’ rights to lands, territories and resources, including on: the international framework and jurisprudence; regional challenges and opportunities; indigenous women’s rights to lands and resources; and recommendations for ILC engagement on indigenous issues. The synthesis paper refers to a full ILC study, which is available upon request at: info(at)landcoalition.org. Download the brief [pdf] …

Land Governance in Asia: Understanding the debates on land tenure rights and land reforms in the Asian context
Antonio B. Quizon, International Land Coalition, 2013 | ISBN: 978-92-95093-82-9

This paper examines land tenure systems and legal frameworks in Asia, and the current major debates around processes of land reform and justice for poor land users. It sets today’s systems in their historical context, tracing their roots back to regimes imposed by colonising powers, mainly European, over a 450-year period. The land reform process has remained largely incomplete, but today there is a resurgence of interest. This paper examines various models for reform and their potential to protect rights and access for poor land users. Among the major issues it discusses are women’s access to land, the land rights of indigenous peoples, tenure for forests and public domains, the role of small farms, the phenomenon of land grabbing, and the emerging effects of climate change. Download the paper [pdf] …

International Forum on Globally Important Agricultural Heritage Systems (GIAHS)
29 May – 1 June 2013 (Noto Peninsula, Ishikawa Prefecture, Japan)

Organized by FAO in collaboration with the Ministry of Agriculture, Forestry and Fisheries of Japan and the government of Ishikawa Prefecture, the three-day forum served as a platform for representatives of governments, international organizations and academia to share their views, experiences and lessons learned about agricultural heritage and its contribution to a sustainable future. During the forum, six new locations were designated as GIAHS: three in Japan (Aso Grasslands of Kumamoto Prefecture, Chagusaba of Shizuoka Prefecture, Kunisaki Peninsula in Oita Prefecture), two sites in China (Ancient Chinese Torreya of Kuaijishan, Urban agricultural heritage – Xuanhua grape gardens) and one in India, Kuttanad below sea level farming. A high-level session held during the forum resulted in the adoption of the Noto Communiqué, which outlines the goals of the GIAHS Initiative and emphasizes the need to twin the GIAHS sites in developed and developing countries. Read the GIAHS news release … Visit the forum’s website, including links to presentations and outcomes …

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