70 representatives, including small-scale farmers, small-scale fishers, peasants, farm workers, indigenous peoples and marginalised local communities meet in Cape Town from 8 – 11 June for a workshop on land, fisheries and forestry tenure.
The workshop, which will take place at the Fountains Hotel on the Foreshore, is being hosted by the Masifundise Development Trust in partnership with the Trust for Community Outreach (TCOE) and the FoodFirst Information and Action Network (FIAN) and supported by the Food and Agricultural Organisation (FAO) of the United Nations.
The delegates come from communities that face insecure tenure and increased poverty and food insecurity, due to land and ocean grabbing.
They will discuss the ‘Voluntary Guidelines on the Responsible Governance of Tenure of Land, Fisheries and Forests (VGGT), which was adopted by FAO in 2012.
The guidelines aim to address and redress the imbalances created by insecure tenure regulations, which cause landlessness, poverty, hunger and insecurity.
Apart from the community representatives, sessions will also be attended by experts working in these sectors, representatives from the FAO and FIAN, the Department of Trade Industry, Coastal Links South Africa, Legal Resources Centre, the Surplus People’s Project, Women on Farms, PLAAS, Southern Cape Land Committee, Timber Watch and the WWF. South African representatives will come from all nine provinces.
The workshop will be addressed by speakers from local, national and international organisations and institutions, and include Naseegh Jaffer, the Director of Masifundise and Secretary General of World Forum of Fisher Peoples (WFFP), Nicole Franz and Francesca Carpano from FAO, Mercia Andrews from TCOE, Professor Moeniba Isaacs of PLAAS, Faried Adams from the DTI and researcher Jackie Sunde. Sofia Monsalve from FIAN, one of the key persons who were involved in the process of negotiating for the VGGT, will introduce the concept of tenure and why the guidelines are important for poor and marginalised communities.
“This workshop is examining how different communities within the fisheries, agriculture and forestry sectors are affected by tenure arrangements,” says Mandla Gqamlana from Masifundise.
The workshop aims to raise awareness of the voluntary guidelines, enable participants to interpret it well and lay the foundation for them to be used as tools of change.
Tenure defines people’s relationships with the land, marine and other natural resources. It directly speaks to their access to important resources they have for centuries accessed in a traditional, communal and customary manner, with no hindrance placed upon them by modern and oppressive laws and regulations which deny them access to their tenure.
Denying people access to their tenure is tantamount to denying people their basic human rights, because it denies them the right to lead secure and sustainable lives.
This makes hosting this workshop on the VGGT most important as one of the many small steps to restoring to people their customary, traditional, and communal and human rights for sustainable livelihoods.
Please find the programme attached. If any members of the media want to arrange interviews or attend any of the sessions, please contact us at the details below.
Issued by Masifundise Development Trust Communication Unit for Masifundise Development Trust.
For more information and interviews and photographs requestsdo contact the MDT Communication Unit:
Contact Person: Nosipho Singiswa or Mansoor Jaffer
Tel: 021 6854549/074 4704508