There are many things that a family passes from generation to generation- customs, morals, stories- but in the Great Lakes region of Africa, there is one thing above all else on which the next generation can stake it’s economic prosperity- land.
Near Volcanoes National Park (PNV) in northwest Rwanda, population densities range between 500-1000 people per square kilometer making land extremely scarce. In fact, land scarcity is one of the main determinants of poverty in this area. Poverty is a source of threat to the conservation values of the region. In addition, land pressure is reported as the most common source of conflicts in the area.
Access to land has many dimensions. The security of land tenure, which supports livelihood security, depends not just on the availability of land, but also on the way land ownership is granted, retained, inherited and transferred. At the moment, Rwanda is undertaking a major national initiative, the Land Tenure Regularization Programme (LTRP), to title land in order to formalize land ownership as well as ease the sale and inheritance of land as designated in the national Land Policy and related laws.
EEEGL has supported this effort near PNV in collaboration with the National Land Centre, and civil society organizations and local government authorities. In 2009 EEEGL partnered with the farmers’ federation Imbaraga to deliver a training and awareness programme for local government leaders and farmers of Musanze District. The programme aimed at building understanding of the legal framework governing land tenure after the 2005 Organic Land Law, and the role of local structures.
In March 2010 Musanze District stakeholders met and reviewed the findings of this programme and those of our socioeconomic study of the areas bordering the park. They recommended a more intensive programme of public awareness, training and dialogue about the forthcoming LTRP.
EEEGL has since formulated and delivered a support programme targeting two audiences: local government institutions as well as the general residents. At the local institution level, EEEGL delivered a training programme to build the capacity at local institutions on land rights, land titling and land dispute management. Trainings were held in late 2010 at the three institutional levels- district, sector, and cells.
A second module wanted to foster public dialogue and understanding across the rural population. This module was piloted in three cells of Kinigi Sector in Musanze District. For these activities EEEGL partnered with the Rural Environment and Development Organization (REDO). The module was delivered ahead of the land titling programme led by the National Land Centre and as a complementary measure to it.
The two interventions combined form a pilot model to build local capacity and public participation in the LTRP. We shall soon share the findings from these exercises and we are also planning to undertake an evaluation of their impact.
EEEGL Regional Programme Coordinator
1 Comment to “Addressing the land crunch near Volcanoes National Park”
Public dialogue before the land tenure regularization process | EEEGL — June 29, 2011 @ 4:01 pm
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