Tenure rights and obligations: towards a more holistic approach to land governance
This study explores the limits to rights – and the interplay of rights and obligations – in land and natural resource governance. Drawing on legal developments from diverse thematic and geographic contexts, it aims to provide conceptual foundations for legal interventions to support the implementation of the Voluntary Guidelines on the Responsible Governance of Tenure (VGGT).
Three clarifications are in order. First, an obligation can have both moral and legal dimensions; this study is primarily concerned with legal obligations. Second, the study takes a holistic approach to natural resource governance but focuses on land and surface resources. Third, while the study engages with the text of the VGGT, it also examines selected developments in national law – including constitutional, property, and natural resource law – and international law, particularly on human rights, the environment, and foreign investment.
The study does not aim to provide a comprehensive discussion of these issues. Instead, it aims to outline the issues and encourage readers’ further reflection and debate.