ROME, May 11 (UPI) -- A United Nations-backed committee Friday released new guidelines to help governments protect people's rights to own or access land, fisheries and forests.
"Giving poor and vulnerable people secure and equitable rights to access land and other natural resources is a key condition in the fight against hunger and poverty," U.N. Food and Agriculture Organization Director-General Jose Graziano da Silva said.
The Committee on World Food Security adopted the Voluntary Guidelines on the Responsible Governance of Tenure of Land, Fisheries and Forests in the Context of National Food Security in Rome Friday, the U.N. News Center reported.
"It is a historic breakthrough that countries have agreed on these first-ever global land tenure guidelines," da Silva said. "We now have a shared vision. It's a starting point that will help improve the often dire situation of the hungry and poor."
The Food and Agriculture Organization said the guidelines dealt with so-called land-grabbing incidents and recommenced safeguards be enacted to protect the rights of local people from risks that could arise from large-scale land acquisitions, and to protect human rights, livelihoods, food security and the environment.
The guidelines also address the recognition and protection of legitimate longstanding rights, the best practices for registration and transfer of tenure rights and the rights of indigenous communities.