TGCC Assessment: Zambia Customary Land Documentation Tenure Assessment

This assessment examines the legal framework associated with customary land tenure and customary land administration in Chipata District of Eastern Province, as well as current practices carried out by traditional leaders, including chiefs, chief advisors, and headpersons. The assessment has been used to inform the design of a customary land certification program, which has the primary goal of testing the hypothesis that households with land documentation will invest in more climate-smart agricultural practices, specifically agroforestry. The program is being carried out from 2014 – 2018 through a randomized control trial including treatments related to land documentation and agroforestry extension. Interventions were carried out at the village level, seeking to include all interested community members. The agroforestry interventions were carried out by an independent organization and there was no communication between the land and agroforestry implementing organizations despite geographic overlap. The findings of the assessment were used to inform the design of the customary land documentation process in Chipata, and will be used as background for other customary land documentation efforts in Zambia.

The Tenure and Global Climate Change (TGCC) task order is funded by the United States Agency for International Development (USAID) under the Strengthening Tenure and Resource Rights (STARR) Indefinite Delivery/Indefinite Quantity. The aim of the task order is to identify and test models that strengthen resource governance and property rights as they relate to successful climate change programming.

Climate change impacts and interventions in response to climate change are significantly affecting resource tenure governance, the rights of communities and people, and their livelihoods. In turn, resource tenure and property rights issues may strengthen or undermine successful implementation of climate change-related initiatives. Interventions that strengthen resource tenure and property rights governance can help reduce vulnerability and increase resilience, as well as achieve other resource governance objectives, such as wildlife conservation and development of a rural wildlife-based economy. The task order consists of four tasks and contains a grants under contract mechanism to support these task areas. In Zambia, the task order pilots tenure interventions that strengthen land rights as an enabling condition for the promotion and adoption of climate-smart land use practices through work in the Chipata and Petauke Districts of Zambia’s Eastern Province.