This article discusses how one group is contributing to critical thinking about how the Voluntary Guidelines for the Responsible Governance of Tenure of Land, Fisheries, and Forests in the Context of National Food Security (VGs) are implemented. The Future Agricultures Consortium (FAC) – an Africa-based alliance of agricultural research organizations – is both tracking implementation of the VGs and launching a study that will, among other things, investigate the multiple pressures toward the commercialization of land and the resulting impacts on land rights in Southern Africa. The project will also examine how land users, governments and other authorities are responding to land transactions.
FAC will work in five countries (Zambia, Zimbabwe, Mozambique, Malawi, and Namibia) to document the land deals and their effects, develop recommendations for policy, and inform advocacy.
FAC will be well-served to also consider the impacts of all large-scale land transactions (both domestic and international) in the countries under review, and to interview the private sector firms engaged in large-scale land transaction in these countries to include their views on the impact of secure resource governance (e.g., property rights) on their investments.