The Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) actively supports ongoing efforts in implementing the Voluntary Guidelines on the Responsible Governance of Tenure of Land, Fisheries and Forests in the Context of National Food Security (VGGT) in Africa, Asia and Latin America.
In this context, FAO has provided support since 2018 in preparing a high-level forum in Guinea, called “Les États Généraux du Foncier en Guinée”, aiming to take stock on the tenure situation in the country and to propose solutions to land tenure issue in the country.
Following an inclusive preparation process, Guinea organized the forum from 14 to 17 November 2022, under the aegis of the Prime Minister, Head of Government.
The Etats Généraux du Foncier brought together more than 300 participants from all sectors and regions of the country to build a common roadmap for land governance, under the slogan ” Les Etats Généraux: An essential step for the success of responsible, inclusive and sustainable land reforms”.
During the opening ceremony of “ Les Etats Généraux du Foncier”, on 14 November 2022, a Technical Cooperation Programme (TCP) was signed between the FAO and the Ministry of Urbanism, Housing and Land Management to support the government in holding “Les Etats Généraux” and implementing its recommendations.
In his speech, the Prime Minister, Dr Bernard GOMOU, emphasized the importance of “ Les Etats Généraux” for the country because “70% of the disputes at the courts and tribunals are related to land” and ‘because “the Guinean land register is out of order”.
He also underlined that “less than 25% of land plots and public land have a land title in Guinea, whereas secure and accessible land titles are needed to encourage both public and private investors.
The FAO Country Representative, Dr. Gualbert GBEHOUNOU, emphasized that “Les Etats Généraux” , initially proposed by the members of the multi-stakeholder platform on land governance in the country, is an opportunity to formulate recommendations that will enable Guinea to move towards an inclusive land tenure reform”.
A long inclusive, participatory and preparation process
In order to involve all local actors in the process of preparing the National Dialogue on Land called “Etats Généraux du Fonciers”, FAO has supported the government since 2018, to organize and conduct workshops and meetings in different regions of the country, in collaboration with other partners.
These workshops and meetings enabled citizens of each region to exchange on their concerns related to land governance and present their recommendations.
As a reminder, the FAO supported all the preparation activities for the Estates General on Land, through various support for the multi-stakeholder platform on land governance, which facilitated regular meetings with all the groups of stakeholders concerned.
A preparation day was also organized by members of civil society organizations (CSOs) on the eve of the National Dialogue on Land “Etats Généraux du Foncier”, with 50 CSO representatives from all the regions of the country, and resource persons.
These sessions helped to bring together CSOs with the aim of reaching consensus before the holding of the Estates General of Land.
After four days of inclusive dialogue, the participants at the Etats Généraux called upon the government to prioritize the development of land tenure reforms in line with international and regional commitments, including the African Union Declaration of Heads of State and Government on Land Tenure Issues and Challenges in Africa, the Voluntary Guidelines on the Responsible Governance of Tenure of Land, Fisheries and Forests and the African Union Framework and Guidelines on Land Policies in Africa
The “Etats Généraux du Foncier” led to a consensus on the following main recommendations:
Revise the land code in a participatory manner and popularize it.
Followed by the development of its application texts;
Elaborate an agricultural land law built around a coherent and inclusive Agricultural Land Policy, taking into account all the shortcomings of the land code with regard to the specificities of agro-sylvo-pastoral and halieutic land issues;
Make the national multi-stakeholder platform on land governance the responsible body for following up the recommendations of the “Etats Généraux du Foncier”.
FAO supports the implementation of the recommendations
The next step for FAO will be to support the implementation of the recommendations of the National Dialogue on Land “Etats Généraux du Foncier” and ensure that the action plan is transformed into concrete planning at the level of the various ministries involved.
FAO will support the implementation of the action plan through the Multi-Stakeholder Platform on Land Governance.
In addition, a series of capacity building activities will be initiated at the local level to further build the capacities of key actors, including those most affected by land insecurity.
Finally, FAO will continue to build partnerships and synergies between existing initiatives in order to strengthen actions aimed at promoting responsible land governance in Guinea.