For the Nigerian Yaya Olaniran, current President of the CSA, this is a “historic moment […] an important step in improving food security in the world”. The Voluntary Guidelines on Responsible Governance of Tenure of Land, Fisheries and Forests in the Context of National Food Security aims to regulate the mass purchase and use of land, by recognizing usage and customary rights, and insisting on the rights of indigenous peoples and on women’s rights.
The controversial phenomenon in question, which many call a “race” or “rush” on arable land, has further increased since the soaring food prices in 2008.
The Guidelines, though not a legally binding text – an aspect criticized by certain NGOs – demand more transparency at the State level.
Indeed, given the opacity of many land tenure contracts, it is recommended that States “provide transparent rules on the scale, scope and nature of allowable transactions in tenure rights.”.
Though the Guidelines, responsible for explaining the internationally agreed upon standards and principles are intended as a “reference document”, the fact remains that National laws must integrate them.