Workshop expands knowledge of participants on Governance of tenure

More than 100 delegates from the land, fisheries and forestry sectors are attending a Tenure training workshop this week.

The workshop hosted by Masifundise with the support of the Food and Agriculture organisation (FAO) of the United Nations aims to increase the use of the FAO Voluntary Guidelines for the governance of tenure of land, forestry and fisheries (VGGT) amongst civil and grassroots organisations of South Africa.

“The guidelines are there for the communities to know what are their and how to access their tenure rights” said Sofia Monslaves from FoodFirst Information and Action Network (FIAN) during her presentation.

“The guidelines are not necessary law, but they are international standards of how tenure should be governed” she continued.

A presentation from TCOE’s Mercia Andrews highlighted the different aspects and complexities of land tenure in South Africa.

“Land reform is a difficult concept and government should think about reconceptualising the concept of land redistribution” Mercia stated.

“Poverty and hunger has increased in the rural areas. Governments should come up with programmes that will support people to create and sustain their livelihoods” she continued.

The first two days of the workshop were centred around understanding the VGGT guidelines and how South African laws and policies impact on tenure arrangements.

Delegates also shared their stories related to tenure arrangements in their specific communities. The stories ranged from gender discrimination, customary laws, loss of livelihoods and evictions.

Magdeline a member of Women on Farms from Ceres in the Western Cape told of how she was evicted from a farm after the death of her husband.

“I was pregnant at the time, but I was simply put on a tractor and transferred to another farm” she told the group, “I now live with my mother, and not on a farm, but I continue to fight for the land and farm evictions aimed at women through the Women on Farms Programme as farmers continue to evict women on their farms” she continued.

This is one of the many stories that delegates at the conference had shared. The issue of secure tenure; the access to land, marine and other natural resources is an important issue facing many South Africans.

The workshop continues until Friday 12 June at the Fountains Hotel in Cape Town.

World Oceans Day

The 8th of June saw many organisations and individuals around the world commenting about world oceans day.

World Oceans Day has been unofficially celebrated every 8 June since its original proposal in 1992 by Canada at the Earth Summit in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil. It was officially recognized by the United Nations in 2008. Since then it has been coordinated internationally by The Ocean Project with greater success and global participation each year. (Wikipedia, 2015)

This year, the theme was “Healthy oceans, healthy planet”.

“Unfortunately, human pressures, including overexploitation, illegal, unreported and unregulated fishing, destructive fishing, as well as unsustainable aquaculture practices, marine pollution, habitat destruction, alien species, climate change and ocean acidification are taking a significant toll on the world’s oceans and seas” wrote the United Nations on the website.

Many people advocating for cleaner oceans posted messages on the official page of World Oceans Day and said

Michale Kassotakis wrote “Oceans are a vital resource for many countries that border with them. The main uses of oceans are transportation, sea food, photography, videos and movies. They cover another underwater world full of curiosity about underwater life and underwater creatures. Keep the oceans safe and clean!!!”

“By failing to properly invest in maintaining healthy oceans, we put society in dire straits. Let alone that we are destroying some of the most wondrous biodiversity that exists in our world. I have hope that we’ll get it right, and am humbled by the work that the organizers of World Oceans Day and all others fighting are doing.” Wrote Sam Teicher.

World Oceans Day is celebrated every year on the 8th of June. For more information about events taking place around the world on the day you can visit

Latest Fisher’s Net focuses on the Tenure Guidelines

Tenure Guidelines, laws and policies are the focus of the June Fisher’s Net.

The newsletter contains information on aspects of tenure and provides details on the voluntary guidelines.

“Secure and Equitable tenure lies at the heart of the human rights of small-scale fishing communities, farmers, peasants, indigenous people and local communities. These people and communities depend on their access to land and other natural resources for their food security and livelihoods” Fisher’s Net editorial.

Articles in the publication aim to increase the reader’s knowledge of tenure issue in the context of South Africa.

Page 2 and 3 narrate tenure stories of two communities within the fisheries and land sector. Page 4 and 5 is a cartoon explaining the tenure guidelines, while page 6 and 7 take a look at the South African Tenure legislation and policies.

The publication was compiled with assistance from TCOE and Jackie Sunde. It is printed in English, Xhosa, Zulu and Afrikaans and will be distributed throughout the month of July.

Read the latest t fisher’s Net here:

European Union Launches campaign aimed at sustainability

The EU has launched its Inseparable campaign, aimed at promoting seafood caught through sustainable fishing.

“hanging fish consumption is vital in helping fishing become more sustainable. As consumers and market actors, we have to be aware that what, when and how we eat, buy and sell seafood has a huge impact on this precious food source.” Writes Fishing News International

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