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.

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

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
Responsible Land Governance in Land Degradation Neutrality Programmes: Insights from Benin and Kenya
Publication

Responsible Land Governance in Land Degradation Neutrality Programmes: Insights from Benin and Kenya

Translating UNCCD Decision 26/COP14 on land tenure into national processes and monitoring the impact of LDN initiatives on land governance
First Governor’s Day with Farmers takes place in Kakamega County
Blog Post

First Governor’s Day with Farmers takes place in Kakamega County

A template for inclusive policymaking for sustainable agricultural development
Introducing: the Governor's Day with Farmers
News

Introducing: the Governor's Day with Farmers

A platform for farmers to directly interact with policymakers to share their concerns, needs and interests
Lier les droits fonciers des petits exploitants aux objectifs de neutralité en matière de dégradation des terres
Publication

Lier les droits fonciers des petits exploitants aux objectifs de neutralité en matière de dégradation des terres

Des études menées au Bénin et au Kenya soulignent l'importance de garantir les droits fonciers communaux dans les projets de restauration des terres.
It starts with people: The human rights imperative for achieving large-scale restoration targets
Blog Post

It starts with people: The human rights imperative for achieving large-scale restoration targets

Contextualising a GFFA Expert Panel hosted by TMG Research

Publications

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

Rights and Responsibilities: a land governance agenda for UNCCD COP 15

Info Brief

Rights and Responsibilities: a land governance agenda for UNCCD COP 15

TMG Think Tank for Sustainability

Legitimate Tenure Rights for Food Security, Climate Resilience, and Ecosystem Restoration - TMG Research’s approach to responsible and inclusive land governance

Governance foncière responsable dans les programmes de la NDT au Bénin

Working Paper

Governance foncière responsable dans les programmes de la NDT au Bénin

Kader Baba, Anna Kramer, Charles Tamou

Ce rapport de la Global Soil Week 2021 fait le suivi des effets des mesures de la neutralité en matière de dégradation des terres sur la gouvernance foncière au Bénin

Videos

  • 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).

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