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 continued to make significant progress across the project components.
Under Component 1 (Improved legal and policy frameworks at national and local levels)
Bahir Dar University and Hawassa Universities submitted the final version of their assessments for Amhara and SNNP National Regional States (NRSs), respectively. They are making preparations to conduct validation workshops on their findings in the following quarter. Mekelle University is in the process of conducting the assessment for Tigray NRS.
LAND subcontractor “The Amhara Design and Supervision Works Enterprise” delivered the first draft and assessment report of the guidelines for pastoral communal land expropriation, valuation and compensation in Afar NRS. It is now revising the draft incorporating the comments made by LAND experts.
The Committee tasked with drafting the Oromia Pastoral Land Use Rights Regulation prepared a zero draft and submitted it to the Oromia Rural Lands and Environmental Protection Bureau (OBRLEP) for review. Consultations with members of the community in pastoral areas will be held after comments from OBERLEP are incorporated into a revised draft of the Regulation. The Somali NRS draft pastoral land administration and use regulation was translated into the Somali language and pending review by the land authority.
After a series of regional consultations, amendments to the Federal Land Administration and Use Proclamation No. 456/2005 were finalized and submitted to senior management of the Ministry of Agriculture and Natural Resources (MoANR).
A high-level ministerial committee under the Prime Minister’s Office is steering and coordinating development of an overarching and comprehensive national land utilization policy. A national task force with membership of the relevant ministries and government agencies was established to provide technical guidance and review during the preparation. LAND will provide financial and technical assistance to this effort.
Under Component 2 (Strengthened capacity in national, regional, and local land administration and use planning)
LAND has engaged an Ethiopian consultant to provide the EMA with technical assistance to rehabilitate and make fully operational its Continuously Operating Reference Station (CORS). The consultant assisted the EMA to resolve telecommunication and power supply issues that hampered the proper functioning of the CORS stations and trained 16 EMA and four Information Network Security Agency (INSA) staff in installing and operating CORS. The consultant is now preparing a project proposal for the development of the geodetic network of the country based on CORS Global Navigation Satellite System (GNSS) in the short, medium and long-term.
LAND continued its efforts to build capacity of federal and regional land administration and land use (LALU) professionals in land use planning and GIS and remote sensing. The training delivered by LAND is designed to support the efforts of the federal and regional governments to produce national, regional and local master land use plans as envisioned in the nation’s Second Growth and Transformation Plan (GTP II). During the reporting period, federal and regional trainers who successfully completed LAND’s Training of Trainers (TOT) program delivered training to a total of 1,441 zonal and woreda staff and 636 development agents from four regions (Amhara, Oromia and SNNPR). The training sessions lasted between 5-10 days to build capacity in participatory land use planning, GIS and remote sensing.
Under Component 3 (Strengthened capacity of Ethiopian universities to engage in policy analysis and research related to land tenure and train land administration and land use professionals)
The first batch of (41) students enrolled in the Institute of Land Administration of Bahir Dar University’s (ILA/BDU) in the summer M.Sc. program have commenced their thesis research work in their respective regions. They are expected to graduate in October 2016. The second group of 41 students have completed their first session at the ILA/BDU in August 2015 and have taken home assignments that they will complete before their second and final summer session in June-August 2016. The grantees selected under the LAND’s competitive grant scheme made satisfactory progress towards completing field research. On the spot monitoring, visits were conducted by LAND experts. The visits along with desk reviews have confirmed that data collection activities were progressing very well but not yet completed. Grant closeout procedures were discussed with grantees at meetings held with the leadership and Principal Investigators of each grant.
At its meeting of February 4, 2016, at LAND’s Office in Addis Ababa, the Executive Committee of ETHIOLANDNET adopted the network’s five-year strategic plan (2016-2020) submitted by the Secretariat. The Committee also discussed the national conference being organized on land research which is planned to take place in September/October 2016. A working group was formed to follow up on the preparations leading to the conference which include identifying thematic areas, selecting and inviting paper presenters and participants, and identifying funding sources.
Under Component 4 (Strengthened community land rights in pastoral and agro-pastoral areas to facilitate market linkages and economic growth)
Following the decision made by the Oromia Rural Land Administration and Environmental Protection (OBRLEP) Bureau of the Oromia NRS to use reera as a unit of pastoral landholding registration and certification, LAND team comprising the DCOP, the pastoral land tenure and land administration specialists travelled to Borana to clarify conflicting definition of the term reera in the government documents and administrative structures, on the one hand, and in project reports, maps, and community descriptions, on the other.
The team spoke with all relevant actors including PRIME staff, customary institutions leaders, and local administration officials in the area. The team learned that the reera as understood by communities for decades covers a larger area than the one that is currently used by local administration. While discussing the unit of pastoral landholding registration and certification, the zone administration also showed interest and accepted LAND’s previous proposal to pilot the registration and certification of communal land at the dheeda level and proposed piloting of three dheedas (Golbo, Malbe and Dirre). LAND team will present the findings of its investigations and the position of the zone administrator during further discussions with the OBRLEP and request it to consider the pastoral communities’ demand to secure the landholding certificate at dheeda level.
The LAND technical team conducted a rapid assessment of the customary land administration and natural resource management rules, norms and practices in Amibara woreda of the Afar NRS during the reporting period to better understand how customary institutions manage the community’s rangelands and natural resources.
The action plan and processes and procedures that LAND will follow in adjudication, surveying, demarcation, registration and certification of pastoral landholdings in the Afar NRS were presented to experts and officials of the region, MoANR and other stakeholders at the consultative meeting held in Awash from February 22-23, 2016. A summary of LAND team’s findings on Chifra and Amibara woredas was also presented at the same event.LAND’s Gender Specialist assisted the National Women’s Land Rights Taskforce (WLRT) in establishing regional Women Land Rights Taskforces in Oromia, Amhara, Tigray and South Nations, Nationalities and Peoples National Regional States.
LAND’s Gender Specialist assisted the National Women’s Land Rights Taskforce (WLRT) in establishing regional Women Land Rights Taskforces in Oromia, Amhara, Tigray and South Nations, Nationalities and Peoples National Regional States.