You cannot protect the environment unless you empower people.
- Wangari Maathai
Land-based ecosystems are fundamental pillars of our wellbeing. However, their resilience is increasingly threatened by the growing demand for food, housing, energy and other ecosystem services. 

Building on the Voluntary Guidelines on the Responsible Governance of Tenure of Land, Fisheries and Forests in the context of Food Security as an overarching framework, we work to promote the rights of all land users as an important precondition for sustainable and inclusive development.  
Our work involves analysing structural barriers that hinder land users from enjoying their legitimate rights. Together with our partners, we explore context-specific solutions and innovations to overcome these barriers. This includes supporting governments in providing the necessary services to their citizens, and supporting right holders in claiming their legitimate rights. Building on the insights gained, we support the development of monitoring tools to increase transparency and accountability within the land sector, and to track the implementation of national and international commitments.

Latest

Media Coverage
Secure Land Rights to Restore Nature and Improve Livelihoods for All
Before investing in land degradation neutrality projects and other restoration efforts, it is vital to document the land rights of those living in the targeted area

Topics

Alliances for Land

Alliances for Land

Bringing together diverse actors to strengthen policies and actions on responsible land governance

This body of work builds on TMG's flagship Global Soil Week programme, which aims to provide a platform and a process for raising the profile of soils in development policies and programmes. A key objective of the conference series is to mobilise partnerships to translate global policy frameworks and targets into feasible actions at the local level.

Land, Gender and Human Rights

Land, Gender and Human Rights

Exploring innovative tools to link human rights to land governance monitoring

It is broadly acknowledged that the lack of land tenure security is a key barrier, not only to improved food security and sustainable land management practices at the farm level, but also for the restoration of broader ecosystems. While most countries have legal frameworks in place to recognise claims to land, both at individual and community level, enforcement remains weak. Despite their significant contribution to food security, and farm-based livelihoods, women are particularly disadvantaged due to the dominance of patriarchy and other unequal socio-cultural values in determining the ownership of land and other productive resources.
Building on relevant global frameworks, including the Voluntary Guidelines on the Responsible Governance of Tenure of Land, Fisheries and Forests in the Context of National Food Security, and the Sustainable Development Goals, this transdisciplinary research stream explores innovative strategies for structural barriers to achieving equal land rights within soil restoration, and other land governance programmes. 

Sustainable Land Management

Sustainable Land Management

Exploring social innovations at community level to foster sustainable land management practices

This thematic strand focuses on understanding the underlying socio-political dynamics and other structural challenges that smallholder farmers face in investing in sustainable land management practices. Based on locally-embedded research with our partners in several African countries, we develop, and pilot, "social innovations" to overcome the structural obstacles encountered. By sharing the insights gained with our broader networks of development partners, as well as at various multilateral processes, we also seek to contribute to a systemic understanding of the enabling conditions for scaling up sustainable land management, at both the local and ecosystem levels.

News & Blog Posts

Secure Land Rights to Restore Nature and Improve Livelihoods for All
Media Coverage

Secure Land Rights to Restore Nature and Improve Livelihoods for All

Before investing in land degradation neutrality projects and other restoration efforts, it is vital to document the land rights of those living in the targeted area
Social innovations to protect soils and empower people - new publications
News

Social innovations to protect soils and empower people - new publications

Transforming food systems from the bottom up and securing land access for smallholders
TMG @ COP 15 Highlights published in the Landscape News portal
Media Coverage

TMG @ COP 15 Highlights published in the Landscape News portal

Bringing tenure rights at the forefront of conversations
For a just transition to a sustainable planet we must secure land rights
Blog Post

For a just transition to a sustainable planet we must secure land rights

Highlights of UNCCD COP 15 contributions by TMG and partners
Land tenure rights are at the heart of fighting hunger and transforming food systems
Blog Post

Land tenure rights are at the heart of fighting hunger and transforming food systems

Highlights from the first ever Food Day at the Rio Conventions Pavilion at UNCCD COP 15 in Abidjan
No Climate Transition Without Securing Land Rights
News

No Climate Transition Without Securing Land Rights

Land tenure is a critical enabler for the transition to more sustainable pathways

Publications

Technical Guide on the Integration of the Voluntary Guidelines on the Responsible Governance of Tenure of Land, Fisheries and Forests in the Context of National Food Security into the Implementation of the UN Convention to Combat Desertification and LDN

Technical Guide

Technical Guide on the Integration of the Voluntary Guidelines on the Responsible Governance of Tenure of Land, Fisheries and Forests in the Context of National Food Security into the Implementation of the UN Convention to Combat Desertification and LDN

FAO, UNCCD, TMG Research

TMG contributed to this technical guide that aims to inform policy and decision makers on the potential and means whereby which legitimate and secure tenure can accelerate progress towards LDN and other restoration commitments.

The Human Rights and Land Navigator: Strengthening responsible land governance

Working Paper

The Human Rights and Land Navigator: Strengthening responsible land governance

Ilse Pelkmans, David Betge, Elena Müller & Jes Weigelt

Introducing the Human Rights and Land Navigator, an online database that links the Voluntary Guidelines on the Responsible Governance of Tenure of Land, Fisheries and Forests (VGGT) to binding human rights standards

Videos

  • Transforming food systems from the bottom up: Social innovations for soil restoration

    A conversation around land rights and agricultural transformation

  • No Sustainability Transition Without Securing Legitimate Land Rights - TMG @ COP 15

    TMG and partners bring "Rights to Land" agenda to COP 15

  • The Human Rights & Land Navigator

    A new instrument instrument for strengthening the application of the voluntary guidelines on tenure

  • The State of Land Degradation Neutrality in Madagascar

    Just Transitions towards Land Degradation Neutrality: Tenure Rights for Soil Restoration

  • Land-Food-Climate: An African-European Dialogue on Climate Resilience

    Teaser video for the "Land-Food-Climate: An African-European Dialogue on Climate Resilience" event series

  • Building Back Better and Greener with Agroecology

    A video marking the launch of the Transformative Partnership Platform (TPP) on agroecology

  • Agroecology for Adaptation - Systemic Challenges/Systemic Responses

    A video sharing perspectives from diverse experts on how to create an enabling environment to support smallholder-led innovations for climate change adaptation

Events

Learn more about our activities

Check out our different channels where we publish articles, videos, and analyses of global and local debates

TMG Think Tank for Sustainability consists of TMG Research gGmbH, an independent, non-partisan, non-for-profit organisation registered in Berlin (District Court Charlottenburg, HRB 186018 B, USt.-ID: DE311653675) and TMG - Töpfer Müller Gaßner GmbH, a private company registered in Berlin (District Court Charlottenburg, HRB 186018 Bm USt.-ID: DE311653675).

Our main address is EUREF Campus 6-9, 10829 Berlin, Germany.

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