Fishing communities, as well as indigenous peoples and farming, pastoral and forest-dwelling communities, globally, face displacement from their lands, forests, fishing grounds and territories. Ongoing intergovernmental negotiations related to the Voluntary Guidelines on the Responsible Governance of Tenure of Land, Fisheries and Forests in the Context of National Food Security (VG-Tenure), being led by the Committee on World Food Security (CFS), are, therefore, of great relevance. The Guidelines aim to improve the governance of tenure of land, fisheries and forests towards the goal of food security for all.
Q & A
Interview with Solene Smith, chairperson of the South African network, Coastal Links, and also a fisherwoman from Langebaan, a traditional fishing village on the west coast of South Africa located on the country’s only true lagoon, the Langebaan Lagoon.
By Jackie Sunde (email@example.com), Member ICSF, and Researcher at the Environmental Evaluation Unit, University of Cape Town, South Africa
Solene, do you have rights to the sea in Langebaan?
No, not anymore but before the permit system was put in place, we all had rights and, as fisherwomen, we used to work alongside our male partners.
Do you have rights to the marine resources?
Do you have rights to the land upon which you live?
Yes, I do have rights to my own house. Once we all lived next to the beautiful lagoon but we were forced out by the apartheid laws. But now I have my own house.
Please tell us about the rights you have now as against the system that used to exist previously.
In the past we didn’t have a permit system. As fishers, we made our own laws. We