The Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations has just published new guide on how to make tenure rights a common reality. Governing Tenure Rights to Commons provides strategic guidance targeting all involved parties including states, communities, civil society organizations and the private sector.

Millions of people worldwide depend on commons, which are collectively used natural resources like land, fisheries and forests, for food and income. Functioning as a safety net for marginalized people, these commons are of essential importance to indigenous peoples and local communities. However, tenure rights to commons are often unrecognized and unprotected by national laws, and acknowledged rights are often not enforced and implemented in practice.

The guide which is based on the Voluntary Guidelines on the Responsible Governance of Tenure of Land, Fisheries and Forests aims to “inspire and guide the different actors so that they can contribute meaningfully to transformative change, by making responsible governance of tenure rights to commons real”. To accomplish this, the guide offers 12 practical strategies within three areas of action:

1.The legal recognition and protection of tenure rights to commons.
2. Effective implementation by states and rights holders alike;
3. Support of communities to enjoy their rights.

The strategies and recommendations are detailed and methodological, supported by case studies.

Read the full report here and watch the animation film Caring for Commons – Securing Legitimate Rights which explains the key strategies below.