| 25-07-2017

Guide for grassroots movements on tenure bottom-up accountability

A primer to guide rural communities in framing and devising collective action and engagement strategies to strengthen their tenure of land, fisheries and forests is released today.

While accountability is about the challenge of holding those in power responsible for their decisions, accountability politics is about exploring whether and how this can be done. In a context of a global rush for land and other natural resources, investigating these under the lens of the Tenure Guidelines can provide grassroots communities with significant information to secure their human rights to the commons. FIAN International and Transnational Institute bring these insights into focus with ‘Using the Tenure Guidelines for Action Research’.

The purpose of the guide is to provide practical information to rural communities that they can use in framing and devising collective action and engagement strategies aimed at strengthening their tenure of land, fisheries and forest in order to bring about bottom-up accountability. With the use of land and water rapidly changing and natural resources grabbing escalating, it is crucial to see where authorities may be excelling and where they may be falling short in fulfilling their obligations with regard to tenure governance and human rights.

This publication is part of a collaborative project aimed at strengthening the capacity of grassroots communities in Mali, Nigeria, Uganda and South Africa to address through action research, situations of land and other natural resource grabbing that are threatening their lives and livelihoods. Currently at a final stage, the project also aims to shed light on how national and international governance instruments and principles can be mobilized to protect and promote the interest of the most affected and marginalized in current resource deals.

You can download the publication     here.

For media enquiries please contact     hildevanderpas[at]tni.org and     delrey[at]fian.org 


  • The Guidelines on Responsible Governance of Tenure of Land, Fisheries and Forests (Tenure Guidelines) are the first international ‘soft law’ instrument that focuses on economic, social and cultural rights (ESCR) and on how they can be applied to the governance of land, fisheries and forests. The Tenure Guidelines are firmly anchored in human rights and so their adoption by the UN Committee on world Food Security has opened up the possibility to interpret and use them as a springboard to support claims for the right to land.
  • The project, carried out by a consortium of organizations based in Germany, the Netherlands, South Africa, Nigeria, Uganda and Mali, is expected to launch additional materials on tenure governance and human rights in late 2017.