Sharp increases in food prices starting in 2008 with prolonged volatility, combined with the rapid expansion of land use for biofuels and growing concerns over climate change, have led to a growing demand for land in emerging-economy countries. This has prompted many governments and development partners to increase their efforts to address land tenure and resource governance issues in developing countries.
One of the most celebrated results of this effort was the endorsement in May 2012 of the Voluntary Guidelines on the Responsible Governance of Tenure of Land, Fisheries, and Forests in the Context of National Food Security (VGGT) by the Committee on World Food Security (CFS). The VGGT is the first internationally negotiated and agreed soft-law instrument on the governance of land tenure. The Global Donor Working Group on Land has been a key player in advocating the use of the VGGT, as well as in supporting dialogue spaces where land and development experts can share their lessons on the implementation of the VGGT. The Group also strongly advocated for a substantial role of tenure issues in the Agenda 2030 and praised the inclusion of land indicators under Sustainable Development Goals to alleviate poverty, enhance gender equality, and promote sustainable cities and communities.
Committed to support improved land governance worldwide, the Global Donor Working Group on Land was established in 2013. It is facilitated by the Donor Platform and currently chaired by the UK's Department for International Development. The Global Donor Working Group on Land is a network of twenty-four bi- and multilateral donors and international organisations cooperating on land-related issues worldwide. Its core functions are to allow for better coordination and knowledge exchange on land governance programmes, as well as to jointly advocate the relevance of land issues in policy processes which affect international development.