The purpose of the Ethiopia Land Administration to Nurture Development (LAND) program is to expand and extend two previously successful projects—Ethiopia Strengthening Land Tenure and Land Administration Program (ELTAP) implemented in 2005-2008 and Ethiopia Strengthening Land Administration Program (ELAP) implemented in 2008-2013 – financed by The United States Agency for International Development (USAID)/Ethiopia Mission and implemented by the Federal Ministry of Agriculture and six regional states with technical assistance provided by Tetra Tech ARD. These projects helped strengthen rural land tenure security and women’s land use rights; encourage efficient land transactions; build capacity of federal and regional land administration agencies to improve service delivery and pilot cadastral surveying and certification methodologies to recognize and document rural land use rights.
During the reporting period, LAND made considerable progress on all project components.
On Component 1 (Improve legal and policy frameworks at national and local levels)
LAND, and its partner, Landesa, supported the creation of the National Taskforce on Women’s Land Rights, whose aim is to deliberate on women’s land rights issues in order to inform formulation and implementation of land policy and legislation in Ethiopia. It will identify customary, legal and regulatory constraints affecting women’s rights to access and use land and make recommendations to policy makers and legislators on how they could be addressed. As a voice for women’s inheritance and land rights, the Taskforce will review and comment on forthcoming laws and regulations and make recommendations to ensure that the laws are in place and implemented to promote the realization of women’s land rights. The Taskforce currently has 20 members including representatives from the Ministries of Agriculture, Justice, Women, Children and Youth Affairs; the Federal Supreme Court, Oromia Pastoral Development Commission, USAID/Ethiopia, UN/WOMEN, UK funded LIFT and USAID PRIME projects and civil society groups such as the Ethiopian Women Lawyers Association. Two important national workshops were organized in collaboration with Land Administration and Use Directorate, Ministry of Agriculture (LAUD/MOA), the first one being on regional experiences in expropriation, valuation, and compensation. The purpose of this workshop was to discuss the varying practices in the region states to value and compensate land taken for public purposes and make recommendations to develop policy frameworks to harmonize practices to ensure citizens impacted by the takings are fully compensated for the loss of use rights to their land. The second workshop dealt with review of the suggested amendment to the Rural Land Administration and Use Proclamation No. 456/2005, which provided for lively debate on how best to broaden and more effectively secure tenure rights for both the farming and pastoral communities. Drafting of the Somali Pastoral Land Administration and Use Regulation was completed.
On Component 2 (Strengthen capacity in national, regional, and local land administration and use planning)
The Ethiopian Mapping Agency’s (EMA) continuously operating reference station (CORS) at Gondar airport became operational after system reconfiguration and improving internet connectivity. Currently the EMA is receiving data from all four stations made operational with LAND assistance. LAND organized a graduation ceremony for the 20 CORS technology trainees. Trainers of trainees (ToT) who were trained by LAND in Tigray, Amhara, Oromia and SNNP regional states cascaded ToT trainings at the grass roots level to build capacity of an additional 1,146 staff during this quarter. University partners continued preparation of training materials on the federal and rural land laws of Amhara, Oromia, SNNP and Tigray regional states. First drafts were submitted by Haramaya and Mekelle Universities, respectively for Oromiya and Tigray.
On Component 3 (Strengthen capacity of Ethiopian universities to engage in policy analysis and research related to land tenure and train land administration and land use professionals)
LAND obtained USAID approval for six grants under its Competitive Grants Scheme for a total value of $669,554. The ETHIOLANDNET network has started operation. It is preparing its five-year strategic plan and to conduct a national conference on land issues to be held in July 2015.
Component 4 (Strengthen community land rights in pastoral and agro-pastoral areas to facilitate market linkages and economic growth)
LAND held a series of consultation with Oromia Regional Officials and other stakeholders on reaching a consensus and a common vision for the way forward to demarcate and certify grazing units in Borana and Guji zones. It was agreed that a new Oromia Pastoral Land Administration and Use regulation will be prepared with the technical and financial assistance of LAND and further discussions and consultation should be held on the demarcating, surveying and mapping of the physical boundaries of the grazing units to be registered and certified.
During the next quarter, LAND will support drafting of legislation to protect the land use rights of pastoral communities in Oromia Regional State. LAND secured agreement with Oromia officials to develop a legislative drafting committee to draft a regulation that will pave the way for LAND supported activities to demarcate boundaries of community grazing systems and strengthen community governance structures to work with regional officials to effectively manage rangeland resources. Additionally, LAND’s partner, Landesa, will provide gender trainings for the Ad hoc Federal Drafting Committees to amend Federal Proclamation No. 456/2005, the Oromia legislative drafting committee and the Ethiopian Women’s Land Rights Task Force.