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.
The Institute of Land Administration of Bahir Dar University and Hawassa universities submitted their inception reports and field study instruments for assessment of the implementation of rural land laws in their respective regions. The field research has commenced. The law faculties of Bahir Dar, Haramaya, Mekelle, and Debub Universities were selected to prepare manuals on their respective region’s rural land laws which will be used for training and as a reference. In addition, Bahir Dar University will prepare the manual on federal land law and property rights, which would be used in all regional states.
A native Somali speaking consultant with experience of drafting legislation was selected to assist the Somali Regional State in drafting the region’s pastoral lands administration and use regulation. An agreement has been reached with the consultant and approval received from USAID on his engagement.
A committee composed of four MOA experts and LAND’s Property Rights Lawyer has been formally established to prepare the amended draft federal rural lands administration legislation. The Committee prepared a work plan and has started preliminary work.
Training was given to one zonal and 6 woreda officials of Afar regional state on the regional pastoral land administration and land use laws, which was conducted by the Afar regional Environmental Protection and Land Administration Agency in Awash town.
Planning for a workshop on practices of regional states in expropriation, valuation, and compensation of rural lands has commenced. The terms of reference were prepared and regional states requested to prepare papers on the practice and the problems encountered in their respective states.
LAND, in collaboration with Women’s Affairs Directorate of Ministry of Agriculture, conducted gender awareness raising workshops in Yirgalem town of SNNPR and Wukro town of Tigray Regional State. One Hundred participants attended the workshops of which 19 were women. The workshops aimed to shed light on some of the most critical gender issues in land legislations & enforcement in the respective regions. The participants discussed strengths and weakness of existing land policy and legislation in promoting gender equality and women’s empowerment.
A series of meetings were held on preparation of the papers for the national stakeholders’ workshop on national land use policy. LAND has provided comments on the draft papers and has been working with the writers to expedite their finalization. The date for the workshop is yet to be decided by the committee after the papers have been revised to the required standard.
A local consultant was hired to build the capacity of the Ethiopian Mapping Agency (EMA) in the area of establishing and operating continuous reference station (CORS). The consultant has produced a brief road map categorizing the activities into four agreed upon phases; i.e. (i) training and infrastructure needs assessment; (ii) preparation of training material and delivery of the training; (iii) making the existing four CORS operational; and (iv) preparation of a project proposal for CORS geodetic network development in Ethiopia. Accordingly, assessment of EMA’s staff competency and identification of the capacity needs for establishing and operating of CORS is completed and the reports is being reviewed by EMA. The consultant has begun drafting inception report and training materials.
LAND is building the capacity of federal and regional land administration and use professionals providing Training of Trainers (ToT) on GIS, remote sensing, participatory local level land use planning, and conventional land use planning. The ToT strategy is implemented in such a way that the federal and regional levels trainees cascade the trainings down to woreda level staff. Thirty-five federal and regional ToTs were trained on these courses during this quarter. They, in turn, trained a total of 237 experts of which only 17 were female. This is part of LAND’s effort to link the ToT training with the ongoing Sustainable Land Management Program II and the government’s regular programs in watershed conservation and management operating at the woreda and kebele level.
LAND, in collaboration with MSU and local consultant, has completed second round survey, which aimed at triangulating results of the report produced by MSU on the demand for land administration professionals. An intensive consultation was made with federal level stakeholders and universities. The surveyed data has been organized and interpreted. LAND plans to organize a participatory workshop to present report findings to key stakeholders once the final revised report is produced.
The process of establishing the Ethiopian Land Research and Development Network (ETHIOLANDNET) has reached its final stage. The concept note for the network was approved and the memorandum of association (MoA) for establishing the network adopted by the founding members. LAND and ILA/BDU will sign the sub-contract for operating the network, which is expected to be officially established in the next quarter.
Thirty-two concept papers were received in response to the Annual Program Statement (APS) issued by LAND its Competitive Grant Scheme (CGS). The CGS Review and Evaluation Committee (REC) selected 14 concept papers from 12 institutions to advance to the next stage of the process. The 12 short-listed institutions received orientation in developing responsive grant proposals and they submitted full proposals, which is being reviewed by the REC.
Guji Zone pastoral advisory committee (GZPAC) was established in late July 2014. The establishment of the committee had been delayed due to the conflict between Borana and Guji Oromos. The field trip of the Regional Oromia Pastoral Advisory Committee to Borana and Guji Zones was postponed to October 2o14 due to an unforeseen pressing assignment of some of the members.
A joint team of Haramaya University, Institute of Pastoral Studies (HU/ IPAS) and LAND experts started the assessment of customary administration and management of rangelands in the three pastoral areas of the Oromia Regional State. The study has been underway since late August 2014 and will continue through October 2014. The study assesses governance and operations of pastoral customary institutions and the rules used for rangeland management.
LAND’s newly recruited Pastoral Land Tenure Specialist and the Oromia Regional Field Coordinator in collaboration with the zone’s Rural Land Administration and Environmental Protection Offices collected basic data for profiling grazing unit management. These data will supplement the IPAS field assessment and provide input for the development of pastoral land use rights legislation.
Haramaya University completed a draft proposal for establishing the Ethiopian Pastoralist Information Management System (EPIMS). The proposal was circulated for comments to LAND and PRIME staff.