The first Provincial Training Workshop on the Increased use of the Voluntary Guidelines on the Responsible Governance of Tenure of Land, Fisheries and Forests began Tuesday at the Fountains Hotel in Cape Town.
This is one of the three workshops that will take place in the country, designed for civil society and grassroots organisations.
The training workshops, with delegates from Western Cape and Northern Cape, is organised by Masifundise, with support from the Food and Agriculture Organisation, European Union and FoodFirst Information and Action Network (FIAN).
Attending this week’s workshop are 14 Coastal Links SA members from Port Nolloth, Doringbaai, Ebenhaesar, Langebaan, Hawston, Arniston, Marekuitluyt and Buffeljagsbaai. Also attending are members of Mayibuye, an organisation that advocates for land and agrarian transformation. Mayibuye is a member of the Trust for Community Outreach and Education (TCOE)
“Secure and equitable tenure lies at the heart of the human rights of small-scale fishing communities, small-scale farmers, peasants, indigenous peoples and local communities who depend on their access to land and other natural resources for their food security and livelihoods” Masifundise wrote in their concept note.
Since 1994 the South African government has introduced a range of legal and policy reforms impacting tenure to land, forestry and fisheries. Yet, communities continue to face increasing insecurity of tenure to land and other natural resources.
Tenure is closely tied to a range of human rights yet despite this, all over the world, small-scale producers, peasants, fishers, farmers, indigenous peoples and local communities face insecure tenure due to land and ocean grabbing, they are dispossessed of their secure access to and control over their lands and natural resources, facing increasing poverty and food insecurity.
“It is in this current context that Masifundise Development Trust, in partnership with TCOE and others working in the land sector, is going to host three provincial workshops on the need for an Increased use of the Voluntary Guidelines on the Responsible Governance of Tenure of Land, Fisheries and Forests among Civil Society Organisations and grassroots organisations in South Africa” said Masifundise’s Michelle Joshua.
The provincial workshops will each include 30 participants who are small scale fishers and or farmers from the land and small scale fishing communities. Participants also included experts working in the fisheries and land sector.
“The three workshops will foster and support the responsible governance of tenure of fisheries, forestry and land in the context of food security whilst at the same time capacitating participants to engage in advocacy initiatives with government and other relevant stakeholders,” Joshua continued.
Tenure defines people’s relationships with land, marine and other natural resources. It reflects who can access what and how that access and use of resources is governed. Secure tenure is indivisible from the right of a community or group to sustainable livelihoods. For many, their access to their traditional lands and waters is also an integral part of their cultures, their customary laws and traditional knowledge systems.
The three workshops will foster and support the responsible governance of tenure of fisheries, forestry and land in the context of food security whilst at the same time capacitating participants to engage in advocacy initiatives with government and other relevant stakeholders.