All actions by governments and companies should refrain from doing harm to local and national food security and environmental health (Article 12.12).
Making a corporate-level commitment to supporting the VGGT is a first step towards improving a company's performance on land tenure rights. Supporting the VGGT also means taking actions to ensure that a company's ethical behavior related to land acquisition, land use and corporate relationships with local communities and authorities.Learn More
Land-based investment projects appear in many shapes and sizes.
They are planned to produce agricultural, forestry, and mineral products, among others. The Interlaken Group has developed guidance according to the five project types that are most likely to be initiated by a company.
Land Tenure Considerations
Land tenure cuts across many economic and social issues. Here we present a few of the key considerations that a company should internalize in order to
act consistently with the intent of the VGGT.
The VGGT and Business Responsibilities
Thanks to the extensive consultation and negotiation process leading up to their endorsement in 2012, the VGGT represent generally agreed principles and standards for how states and non-state actors, such as companies and NGOs, should act to improve land and forest tenure governance. Their content is guided by an acknowledgement that tenure governance in much of the world fails to respect and protect the rights of some of the world’s poorest and most marginalized citizens. In the broadest terms, the VGGT emphasize the following priorities for states and companies:
States and companies have a responsibility to respect and protect the legitimate land and forest tenure rights held by communities and households (Articles 3.2, 4.5, 7.1, 12.4, and 12.6).
The VGGT and other
While not legally binding, the VGGT rest upon international law and agreed norms regulating corporate responsibilities. The VGGT state: “These Guidelines should be interpreted and applied consistent with existing obligations under national and international law, and with due regard to voluntary commitments under applicable regional and international instruments."See Annex
Did you know?
More than 93 percent of mining, logging, hydrocarbon, and agriculture developments in tropical forested countries involve land that is already inhabited—making conflict
inevitable unless tenure rights are respected.
Company Commitments to Improving
Land Tenure Governance
Some of the world’s largest agribusiness companies have already made commitments to the VGGT and are working to improve land and forest tenure governance where they work.
The Coca-Cola Company Commitment: Land Rights and Sugarb
- “Commit to zero tolerance for land grabbing
- Will adhere to the principle of Free, Prior and Informed Consent across our operations (including bottling partners) and will require our suppliers to adhere to this principle.
- Encourage the development of an industry-wide commitment within the next three years on sustainable sugarcane
- Publicly advocate that food and beverage companies, traders, especially of soy, sugar, and palm oil, as well as sourcing country governments to endorse and implement the VGGTs and commit to respecting land rights.”
Sustainable Agriculture Guiding Principlesc
- “Recognize and safeguard the rights of communities and traditional peoples to maintain access to land and natural resources.
- Require respect for and prohibit the violation of the land rights of individuals and communities.
- Maintain positive community relations and contribute to local economic development.” In 2014, the company issued Supplier Guiding Principles that includes guidance for suppliers on land rights and FPIC
In 2014, the company issued Supplier Guiding
Principlesd that includes guidance for suppliers
on land rights and FPIC.