Land Governance [ID: 38]

Land Governance

Land is one of the most valuable resources a rural family can own to secure its livelihoods. Without secure land tenure, families and communities are vulnerable to expropriations and face many challenges to access natural and financial resources, markets, and other services.

The Global Donor Working Group on Land (GDWGL) is a network of twenty-nine bi- and multilateral donors and international organisations cooperating on land governance issues worldwide, facilitated by the Donor Platform. The GDWGL was established by the global donor community in 2013 in response to the sharp and volatile increases in food prices that began in 2008.

These spikes, combined with the rapid expansion of land use for biofuels and growing concerns over climate change, led to a growing demand for land in emerging-economy countries. Land was often acquired at large scales from people in rural settings by various international and domestic private and public investors in countries with weak land governance. This prompted many governments and development partners to increase their efforts to address land tenure and resource governance issues in these countries.

A landmark result of this effort was the endorsement 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) in 2012. The VGGT is the first internationally negotiated and agreed soft-law instrument on the governance of land tenure.

The GDWGL 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. In this manner, the GDWGL helps to better facilitate knowledge sharing amongst donors dedicated to land governance and has strongly advocated for a substantial role of tenure issues in the Agenda 2030. The GDWGL praised the inclusion of land indicators under the Sustainable Development Goals to alleviate poverty, enhance gender equality, and promote sustainable cities and communities, and has been instrumental in the process of raising the importance of the indicators from Tier II to Tier I.

The core functions of the GDWGL 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. 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, facilitated by the Donor Platform and currently chaired by the Swiss Agency for Development and Cooperation.

Contentnavigation [ID: 252]


Latest Land Governance [ID: 172]

Improving access to land for youth: Tools and practical experiences

6 December 2021

Jointly organized by the Platform’s Thematic Working Groups on Rural Youth Employment and on Land Governance, as part of the GIZ LandHub Conference


Securing Land Rights is the Best Way to Fight Environmental Decay

29 September 2021 | Virtual

“To be clear, we will not be successful in meeting our ambitious conservation and climate goals without ensuring that indigenous communities are at the table and helping light the path”

– U.S. Secretary of the Interior Deb Haaland


Land Matrix Launches Third Analytical Report

28 September 2021 | Rome, Italy

More than 10 years after the surge of large-scale land acquisitions (lslas) by international investors for agricultural production, the impact on developing countries is sobering and in part alarming.


Events Land Governance [ID: 173]
Currently there are no events.
Interviews Land Governance [ID: 253]

Interview | Chris Penrose Buckley, DFID

“There is a lot of people that have a stake in this (SDG land) indicator and want to be part of the process of making sure that the methodology is robust and it gets to the stage when it is a formal SDG indicator.”

Interview | Oumar Sylla, UN-HABITAT

“This indicator will give us opportunity to track progress made on adressing the issue tenure security.”

INTERVIEW | Jesse Coleman, CCSI

“The purpose of is both to increase transparency around land deals, but also increase the accessibility of the contracts themselves.”

Interview | Aurélie Chevrillon, AFD AND MATHIEU BOCHE, MFA-FRANCE

“It’s true that our institution recognised that the land issues are in our entire rural and agricultural portfolio, it’s a question of development effectiveness.”

Webinar | Lorenzo Cotula, IIED

“It is hard to overstate how important land is in many low- and middle income countries, not only in an economic sense, but also in socio-cultural terms.”

Publications Headline [ID: 254]
Publications Land Governance [ID: 255]


This policy document on land tenure and sustainable agri-food systems is a collaboration between the ILC, FAO and GLTN, with support from the GDPRD. The report stresses the critical importance of land access and land tenure for more sustainable agri-food production and consumption systems. 


One of the key challenges in achieving policy coherence on land rights is to overcome the gap between two groups of actors with different logics.


The publication released by BMZ and GIZ systematically summarises the years of experience the two institutions gathered from various activities in support to the development of standardised system for systematic land registration in rural areas of Lao PDR.


Secure access to land has become a major focus of German Development Cooperation, resulting in a growing need for appropriate orientation and knowledge for development practitioners. The publication discusses principles for dealing with land related problems.

Downloads Land Governance [ID: 256]


Terms of Reference

Terms of Reference were agreed upon in 2013 and establish the core functions of the Group, as well as procedures with regard to chairmanship and application for membership.

Briefs and Notes

Contacts Land Governance [ID: 257]

Contact | Member

Caleb Stevens

Land and Resource Governance Advisor – USAID, Chair of the Global Donor WG on Land