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.


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



Learn more about our activities

Check out our different channels where we publish articles, videos, and analysis 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.

© 2021 TMG Think Tank for Sustainability. All Rights Reserved.