LAND Success Story: Addressing Issues of Communal Land in Afar Regional State

The workshop took place Awash town from 28-31May 2014. LAND’s Property Rights Lawyer and LAUD’s Senior Land Administration expert participated in the training.

USAID/Ethiopia, through the Ethiopia Land Administration Project (2008-2013) supported the development of Afar Regional State’s Pastoral Lands Administration and Use Proclamation. The Proclamation specifically provided for the survey and registration of communal lands. Nonetheless, drafters of the regulation that guides implementation of the Proclamation did not include these provisions for fear they may result in disputes over boundary demarcation. To remedy this omission and strengthen the land rights of pastoral communities, USAID/Ethiopia’s Land Administration to Nurture Development (LAND) project will pilot registration and surveying of communal lands as foreseen in the regional proclamation in selected woredas of the region. The lessons learned from the pilot will be instrumental for strengthening the land use rights of pastoralists and the management of communal lands in other pastoral regions of Ethiopia.

In preparation for this pilot, LAND organized an awareness-raising workshop for 39 woreda and Zonal officials, where the pastoral land laws, including the rights and obligations of pastoralists and registration and protection of communal lands as well as LAND’s plans for the pilot, were explained and discussed.

LAND’s follow-up visits to the region indicate that Zones and woreda governments and pastoralist communities are keen to work with LAND in registering and certifying communal pastoral lands to secure the land use rights of pastoralists.