Thursday, November 14, 2013


PUBLICATION: Village Land Use Planning in Rangelands in Tanzania: Good Practice and Lessons Learned

An Issue Paper released as part of the series Making Rangelands Secure, a learning initiative supported by ILC, IFAD, RECONCILE, IUCN-WISP and Procasur.

This document, developed by the Sustainable Rangeland Management Project (SRMP), seeks to suggest improvements to the village land use planning (VLUP) process in order to better contribute to sustainable rangeland management. It brings together experience from different organisations and government departments working on VLUP in rangelands areas of Tanzania, as well as relevant lessons from other contexts.

. . .

This report concludes with a summary of lessons learned to date and recommendations based on these for further action to improve VLUP in rangelands. Lessons learned include the following:

  • Pastoral and hunter-gatherer production are valuable land use systems that should not be lost, though they provide particular challenges for planning.
  • Despite decentralisation of land access and management, government at all levels can be reluctant to relinquish control of land to local communities.
  • LUP should not be considered a stand-alone activity but must be part of broader development planning.
  • There are opportunities within current legislation to further strengthen the rights of rangeland users to their land and resources.
  • The building of good governance at different levels is essential, though identifying the most appropriate governance systems for rangelands is challenging.
  • VLUP should not stop with the development of the plan itself, but requires ongoing investment of time and resources.
  • There are limited resources available for VLUP but completion of the process is necessary to ensure security of tenure and effective management plans.

Recommendations include the following:

  • Identify and develop broader development priorities and plans with communities, taking into account the importance of land security and LUP. Community action plans (CAPs) can provide communities with a framework that can stimulate immediate action on top priorities.
  • Simplify documents required in LUP processes as appropriate and provide them in local languages, and carry out awareness-raising and training. The training of VLWs or paralegals is also useful.
  • Ensure that all groups are involved in VLUP activities and the development of related by-laws. Particular attention should be provided to women and youth.
  • Support the development of good governance institutions and structures at different levels.
  • Advocate for greater voice and participation in decision-making processes for pastoralists and hunter-gatherers.
  • Invest adequate time and resources in the resolution of boundary and other conflicts, particularly those that are deeply rooted and complex. All staff should be trained in conflict resolution.
  • Take steps to collect as much information as possible before the start of the VLUP exercise, in order to save costs and improve efficiency. Community mapping of rangeland resources and scenario planning are particularly useful tools, as are GIS and satellite imagery.
  • Take steps to ensure that women fully understand their land rights, as part of a wider programme of empowerment and of broader development processes.
  • Assist pastoral groups to register customary titles to grazing land through current legislation as a CCRO.
  • Assist villages to develop joint resource management sector plans, and districts to develop DLUPs.
  • Assist communities to develop mechanisms for protecting livestock corridors, and carry out VLUP with adjoining villages to consider resource management and protection on a larger scale.

The full paper is available here.

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