The Role of the UN in Global Land Governance: (Re)Conceptualizing Land Tenure Security for the Global Indicator Framework

For the first time in the history of global UN-led goal-setting processes, so-called ‘land targets’ and ‘land indicators’ are explicitly included in the 2030 Agenda and the Sustainable Development Goals. Land indicators are indicators that supposedly allow for monitoring and tracking of progress of land governance. A core component is the ‘measuring’ of ‘tenure security’. However, as explored by recent scholarship, such indicators do not only ‘measure’ reality but create new realities. This paper examines the interconnectedness and co-constitution of international legal instruments and global governance indicators, i.e. the global indicator framework. Specifically, it investigates the drafting history of two ‘land indicators’ – the ‘tenure security indicator’ (1.4.2) and the ‘gender equality in land indicator’ (5.a.1) respectively – in order to shed light on the process of (re)conceptualization of the concept of tenure security for international/transnational/global land governance.