Access to and secured long-term rights to use land are an essential precondition for rural development, food production, security and social peace. The distribution and use of land is fundamental in rural areas and connected to a variety of thematic areas targeted in the Sustainable Development Goals.
Darryl Vhugen is a senior attorney and land tenure expert helping business and investors achieve socially responsible and financially sustainable investments in land and natural resources. He is the author of a FAO technical guide for investors on the Voluntary Guidelines and also co-authored a land rights due diligence tool for the New Alliance on Food Security and Nutrition.
Before starting his own consulting practice, Darryl was Director of Special Initiatives at Landesa, an international land rights NGO. In that position, he was responsible for developing new initiatives that created partnerships with government, NGOs and the private sector on Landesa's cross-cutting efforts to protect and strengthen the land rights of the rural poor in the face of large-scale land-based investments and climate change in the developing world. He advised public and private sector institutions on developing and operationalizing guidelines and processes aimed at achieving responsible investments in land. Darryl also led Landesa's work in Tanzania and Myanmar and provided legal and policy analysis on projects aimed at strengthening local land rights in sub-Saharan Africa, India and China.
Previously, Darryl was Landesa’s State Director for Andhra Pradesh in India. Before joining Landesa in 2008, he spent 25 years in private practice as an international and domestic business lawyer and litigator. He advised foreign and domestic clients in a broad range of business matters involving the United States, Japan, Taiwan, Cambodia the Philippines and other countries in Southeast Asia.