The purpose of the Land Administration to Nurture Development (LAND) project 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. These projects helped strengthen rural land tenure security and women’s land use rights, encouraged efficient land transactions, built capacity of federal and regional land administration agencies to improve service delivery, and piloted cadastral surveying and certification methodologies to recognize and document rural land use rights.
MOA/LAUD had requested LAND for technical and financial assistance in drafting an amendment to the federal Land Administration and Use Proclamation No. 456/2005. The drafting committee composed of four MOA experts and LAND’s Property Rights Lawyer had a retreat at Zeway town for eight days to conduct a desk review. They also visited Harari regional state, Dire Dawa City Administration, and Afar regional state to conduct interviews and identify issues that need to be considered in the upcoming revision of the federal land administration law.
All regional states including Harari and Dire Dawa will present their experiences on rural land expropriation, valuation and compensation at a national workshop to be held in the second quarter of FY 2015. A TOR for the selection of international expert has also been prepared and LAND has been looking for an appropriate consultant.
LAND will hire a consultant to assist the Afar regional state in developing a Communal Land Property Valuation and Compensation guideline. The Terms of Reference (TOR) has been prepared and published to solicit technical and financial proposals from qualified bidders.
A consultant was hired in this quarter to draft the Somali regional state pastoral land administration and use regulation. He has started a desk review of all the relevant policy and legislative documents. Ato Tigistu Gebremeskel Director, and Ato Solomon Abebe Land Administration expert of MOA/LAUD together with the LAND Property Rights Lawyer, met with land administration officials in Jigjiga to discuss activities that LAND supports in the region and to introduce the consultant to the regional Rural Development Bureau officials. They also prepared a work plan for drafting the regulation.
Five papers were drafted and revised to be presented at a national workshop LAND will conduct to pave the way for crafting Ethiopia’s national land use policy. External peer reviewers with extensive experience in the field have been identified to review the papers. Once internal comments have been addressed, the papers will be forwarded for external peer reviewers. The date for the workshop will be set by the committee after the papers have been finalized.
LAND organized practical skills based training on setting up and operating continuously operating reference station (CORS) for 17 Ethiopian Mapping Agency (EMA) and 3 Information Network Security Agency (INSA) staff. The CORS training was conducted from 1st December, 2014 to 6th of January, 2015 at the Institute of Geophysics, Space Sciences and Astronomy (IGSSA) of Addis Ababa University. Six of the trainees were women. The practical training on CORS built skills required to establish ground and roof monuments, as well as successfully installing a reference station on the roof of the IGSSA building. Moreover, the consultant commissioned by LAND has been providing backstopping technical assistance to rehabilitate four existing CORS stations. All except the reference station located at Gondar airport, which is awaiting internet connection, have been made operational and begun streaming raw data continuously into the server located at the EMA.
SNNP and Tigray regional state organized training of trainers on land use planning. Tigray regional state organized the local level participatory land use planning training from 11-17 October, 2014 at Wukro town for 20 zonal and woreda level land administration experts and surveyors. Seven of the trainees were women. SNNPR trained 10 regional and zonal staff on conventional methods of land use planning from 27 October to 2 November, 2014 at Yirgalem Town. Only one woman participated in this training. The training was also meant to support the region in preparation of regional and woreda master land use plans.
The regional states have plans to cascade the GIS and Land use planning trainings to another 240 regional and woreda staff through regional government regular programs and particularly under the Sustainable Land Management Project (SLMP) Phase II project in FY2015. Accordingly, Tigray trained 14 woreda and kebele staff on local level participatory land use plan with financial support from SLMP. Four of the trainees were women. Amhara trained 366 zonal and woreda level land administration and land use planning officials and experts on land use planning and 20 surveyors on GIS and remote sensing. A five-day training on GIS was given for 20 zonal and woreda surveyors and nine of them were women. In addition, the region organized a 3-day training on land use planning for 53 (1 woman) zonal land administration and use officials.
The law schools at Bahir Dar, Haramaya, Mekelle, and Debub universities were selected to develop training manuals on rural land laws for their respective regional states. The content of the manual and the budget has been agreed upon with each university. A subcontract agreement is being drafted to finance preparation of the manual and will be executed in the next quarter.
MSU and the local consultant are working on synthesizing the report of the second round survey, which was carried out to get realistic estimation of demand for land administration professionals in the next 5 to 20 years. LAND plans to organize a participatory workshop to present the findings to key stakeholders once the final revised report is finalized in the next quarter.
The first group of forty-two LALU professionals completed their first summer course work at BDU/ILA. Currently, they are back in their respective organizations doing their take-home assignment. Five of the first group of trainees were women. The trainees are from two federal ministries (MOA and Ministry of Urban Development and Construction), the 9 regional states and two city administrations (Addis Ababa and Dire Dawa).
ETHIOLANDNET was formally established with the approval of the Memorandum of Association at the General Assembly meeting held in Bahir Dar 24-25 November 2014. ILA/BDU has been designated as the secretariat for the network. A memorandum of agreement will be signed with Bahir Dar University to administer activities of ETHIOLANDNET with funding from LAND’s Grant Scheme.
The Review and Evaluation Committee (REC) assessed and recommended five competitive applications for grant award. Accordingly, the required documents were prepared and sent to Tetra Tech ARD home office for review.
LAND organized a field visit to Borana and Guji zones for the Oromia and zonal pastoral advisory committee members from 27 October to 5 November, 2014. Senior government officials from the federal and Oromia Regional State as well as Borana and Guji zone administrators and traditional leaders attended the field visits, presentations, and meetings. The trip served to: (i) create awareness among the participants on the objectives and activities of the LAND and PRIME projects; (ii) explain the purpose and function of the ROPAC and ZOPACs; (iii) share domestic and international experiences among the participants on securing pastoral and communal land rights; (iv) enable pastoralists to express their demands for securing their land use rights; and (v) reach consensus on the need to implement the program of pastoral land use rights certification.
A joint team of IPAS/HU and LAND experts were subcontracted by LAND to conduct an assessment of customary administration and management of rangelands to inform development of Oromia pastoralist land use rights legislation. Field work began in August 2014 and was completed in September 2014. Assessment data was analyzed in this quarter. The findings and conclusions will be validated in a regional consultative workshop in which representatives of the major stakeholders will participate.
LAND developed procedures to demarcate, register and certify pastoral land rights in a participatory manner. The procedures will be enriched and further developed through a series of consultative processes which have already been initiated. The consultative processes will continue after consensus is reached on the unit of certification.
The Land Policy Initiative organized the 2014 Land Policy Conference in Addis Ababa Ethiopia on 11-14 November 2014. Dr. Solomon Bekure, LAND COP, Ato Abebe Mulatu, LAND Property Rights Lawyer and Dr. Dejene Negassa, LAND Pastoral Tenure Specialist attended the conference at which Dr. Solomon presented a paper entitled “Safeguarding Pastoral Land Use Rights In Ethiopia” that he co-authored with Ato Abebe, who also made a brief presentation on the objectives and activities of the LAND project.
LAND published its second LAND Update and brochure. The update provides information on the progress of LAND activities. It is also published on the USAID’s Land Tenure and Property Right Portal. The brochure gives general information about LAND in English and Amharic and copies have been handed out at various meetings and workshops and to various visitors of LAND.
The regional media including, Amhara TV, Radio, and Bekur Newspaper invited to the ETHIOLANDNET inaugural workshop gave coverage to the event. In addition, Sheger FM 102.1 and Ethiopian News Agency featured the event. LAND drafted Press Release in English and Amharic and circulated to media representatives, who were covered the event and communicated to all national media outlets via Fax and Email. The press Release was also posted on the US Embassy website. In addition, LAND prepared communication materials including posters, banners, roll up stand brochure bookmark to promote the event as per USAID branding and marking guidelines.