Land is the maker and the marker of the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) | Land Portal

Land is the maker and the marker of the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs).  For the Dutch Ministry of Foreign Affairs (MFA), our aim is to contribute squarely to relevant land-related results where solutions exist and actions are needed, which is at subnational or national levels in countries. We work with national and local governments as well as with other locally mandated actors that in most cases get assistance from international organisations .

Next to this we also purposely support international networks, such as the International Land Coalition (ILC) and the Global Land Tool Network (GLTN) and multi-stakeholder partnerships in the Netherlands, such as the LAND partnership with Dutch Kadaster on igniting fit for purpose land administration,  LANDac and the LANDdialogue.

It is safe to say that we see an essential number of pathways to better land governance, which is essential for securing food security and nutrition and many more of the SDG’s.  My motto is that if you have made big steps in land governance, you are making big steps in good governance, which is essential everywhere for achieving the SDG’s. Governance is not the same as government; it means everyone working together to make a difference.

Governance is not the same as government; it means everyone working together to make a difference.


The Netherlands invests merely in networks and partnerships as that is a very important way in which organisations can be strengthened in becoming more effective and sustainable. Better equipped organisations as such are essential in achieving improved results in the local and international context. In achieving this, however, it is essential that the to-be-strengthened organisations invest themselves in very significant ways in the running of the networks and partnerships.

Ultimately, what we have learned in the Netherlands is that cooperation and joint partnership and investments between government agencies, the private sector, financial institutions, civil society and knowledge and training institutes can lead to progress.

The GLTN is a learning and innovative tool development network that should focus on how it adds value to the larger ecosystem. It should also be clear that an investment in the GLTN should not compete with funding to land governance actors that directly work on achieving relevant results, but should empower partners and play a catalytic role where change can be made.

Land is a critical component of achieving the SDGs, and we see the international and national organizations that the MFA supports as playing a crucial role in making these linkages. Without more secure and just land governance in the spirit of the VGGTs, the SDGs cannot be achieved. As the marker, or benchmark, progress towards the achievement of land-related SDGs is equally important to ensuring we are headed in the right direction.


This blog is based on Mr. van der Wal's keynote speech during the 7th GLTN Partners Meeting. The Land Portal is a Partner of the GLTN.

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Agenda 2030 makes it possible for countries to monitor the proportion of the total adult population with secure tenure rights to land. This indicator focuses on two components of tenure security that work to advance the concept of the continuum of tenure rights.

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