Drylands Tenure Policy : 1. What are the contents and essential elements of Drylands Tenure Policies? (12 answers)

Helpful Votes
Guest portrait

Drylands populations are significant for poverty reduction both because of their numbers worldwide and their high levels of poverty, as well as the fact that population pressures in more attractive areas are forcing people into these environments. Therefore the implications of land tenure policy -which are normally designed for more arable zones - on drylands livelihood systems and the populations which they support must be understood and addressed.
Discussions at the Nairobi workshop were based on this premise. A number of recommendations for policy design were made.

1. What should be the objectives of a drylands tenure policy? Policy for ecological sustainability? Equity? Conflict resolution? Economic growth/ efficiency? What are the trades-offs between those objectives?

Les populations des zones arides jouent un rôle important dans la réduction de la pauvreté en raison de leur nombre élevé dans le monde et de leur niveau de pauvreté élevé. En outre, les pressions démographiques dans les régions plus attrayantes conduisent les populations à s’installer dans ces milieux. Dès lors, il est nécessaire de comprendre et d’étudier les implications de la politique de tenure des terres – qui sont normalement élaborées pour les zones plus arables – sur les modes d’existence dans les zones arides et sur les populations qui y sont établies.

Les discussions lors de l’atelier de Nairobi ont porté sur ces questions. Un certain nombre de recommandations sur l’élaboration de politiques ont été avancées. Cette séance d’e-conférence permettra de réfléchir davantage aux questions émergentes suivantes :

1. Quels devront être les objectifs d’une politique de tenure des zones arides ? Pérennité écologique ? Equité ? Résolution de conflit ? Croissance/efficacité économique? Quels sont les compromis entre ces différents objectifs ?

2. Quels sont les besoins d’information en matière de tenure de terre dans les zones arides et comment ces besoins sont-ils satisfaits ?
3. Quelles structures et quels processus de gouvernance doit-on mettre en place pour assurer l’imputabilité, l’équité et la transparence ?
4. Comment peut-on garantir la sécurité de tenure dans les zones arides ?
5. Comment doit-on adapter les usagers aux usages multiples des principales ressources des zones arides ?
6. Quel genre de services d’appui doit-on mettre en place pour soutenir la politique ?
-- Updated Dec 29, 2008 --

All Responses

  • 0
    Helpful Votes
    Guest portrait
    Dec 29, 2008
    In my view, the objective of drylands tenure policy should naturally lead to efficient land-use plans that provide sustainable livelihoods. I am assuming that most of the drylands of Africa are under communal ownership. Agricultural (cropping lands) are perhaps that most secure (albeit during the cropping season), but the rest of the lands are subject to any form of use (e.g grazing, wood harvesting, etc). A tenure policy, I would presume, should naturally lead to better land-use planning that takes into account the varied needs of the people. Most open access tenure policies, by default, allow "people to literally do what and as they wish in the commons" leading to frenetic consumption of resources (eat today and think of tomorrow!!). A tenure policy should control this perhaps through sound land use plans, borne out of participatory approaches and conceived by consensus, managed through agreed by-laws and supported by national governments(+ international communities) through incentive mechanisms.

    Dr. Crispen Marunda
    Research Fellow
    Africa Dry Forests Programme
    Regional Office for East and Southern Africa
    73 Harare Drive
    Mt. Pleasant
    tel: +263-4-369655-6
    fax: +263-4-369657
    email: c.marunda@cgiar.org
    -- Updated Mar 29, 2011 --
  • 0
    Helpful Votes
    Guest portrait
    Dec 29, 2008
    Bonjour Mr Kunga Ngece Nicholas

    Merci bien pour le petit mot qui relance déjà le réseau, seulement dès maintenant pour que je puisse participer aux disscussions, je demande à tout un chacun de faire un effort en français

    c'est aujourd'hui lundi que j'ai fais mon compte rendu verbal au directeur de projet ce compte rendu sera suivi d'un rapport écrit qui sera transmis aux ministres chagés des questions foncières au Mali
    A très bientôt

    Hello Mr Kunga Ngece Nicholas

    Thank you for your message which starts the forum. However, I kindly ask that everyone make the effort to write in French, so that I can take part in the discussions.

    Today, Monday, I have made a verbal report to the project manager. A written report will follow -- to be forwarded to the Ministry in charge of land affairs in Mali.
    Hope to hear from you soon,

  • 0
    Helpful Votes
    Guest portrait
    Dec 29, 2008
    Thank you for serving as moderator of this on-line discussion. For those of us who did not attend the conference, I would like to suggest that it might be helpful to share some of the key discussion points and recommendations for policy design that you mention in your email. I think it might give a more solid basis for discussing the questions you present. Also, are there any documents or presentations from the conference that could be posted to the discussion website, so that we might access them more easily?


    Charlie Benjamin
  • 0
    Helpful Votes
    Guest portrait
    Dec 29, 2008
    You pose six questions to launch this discussion.
    1. What should be the objectives of a drylands tenure policy? Policy
    for ecological sustainability? Equity? Conflict resolution? Economic growth/
    efficiency? What are the trades-offs between those objectives?
    The main reason for dealing with the issue of drylands tenure policy should
    be to benefit the people who live there. In general, they are extremely
    poor, so the aim becomes poverty reduction and achieving all of the MDGs.
    This would imply economic growth as at least part of the strategy.
    Efficiency would normally be the economist's way of achieving growth, but
    efficiency needs to be carefully defined in the drylands. Maximizing
    short-term income from available assets is a doomed strategy in
    non-equilibrium grazing situations and where biological productivity is low,
    soils are prone to degradation and resources are limited. Ecological
    sustainability becomes an absolute pre-requisite for improving livelihoods.
    Similarly, conflict resolution is often very important, as growth and
    development will be strangled where conflict occurs.
    There should be no trade-offs when looked at from outside, as everything
    supports the underlying aim of poverty reduction. However, for the drylands
    populations involved, there may be a number of trade-offs. For example,
    achieving gender equity involves shifts of roles and power. This points to
    the importance of local brokering of agreements on change. 

    Philip Dobie
    UNDP Drylands Development Centre
    +254 20 622057
    -- Updated Dec 29, 2008 --
  • 0
    Helpful Votes
    Guest portrait
    Dec 29, 2008
    Posts: 1
    The following are my views on the six questions posed to us:
    1. What should be the objectives of a dry lands tenure policy? Policy for ecological sustainability? Equity? Conflict resolution? Economic growth/ efficiency?
    The objectives of a dry lands tenure policy should include the generally accepted objectives of:
    - Ecological Sustainability
    Ecological sustainability is particularly important for poor developing countries whose populations depend for livelihood on ecological resources, particularly renewable natural resources. The economic development of these countries and alleviation of poverty also highly depends on how sustain ably these resources are used.
    - Sustainable Economic Development
    Economic development is essential for human well being, particularly material well being, including those in the dry lands. The alleviation of poverty and the attainment of high standards of living cannot be attained without economic development. However, economic development must be based on the sustainability principle so that the resource base on which the economy is based is not destroyed. Note the link with objective one.
    - Social Equity
    Social equity is essential for social harmony and stability. Where there is intense social conflict (be it among individuals, communities, nationalities, etc.) there is no peace and security nor is normal economic development possible. It is also clear that in conflictual and insecure situations natural resources such as land and forests suffer. Social equity in a tenure system is not ensured by distributing land only but also by creating adequate security of tenure to the land so distributed.
    Note, however, that these objectives are not unique to dry lands only.
    There can be and ought to be trade off between objectives. How much trade off is carried out is dependent on country specific situations. For example, in a country in which, say, 90% of the population lives in rural areas but land is held by a handful of absentee land lords and the rest of the people tenants the predominant objective will be to redistribute land to the tenants. If such action is not undertaken there may follow social upheavals with dire consequences not only politically but also economically and environmentally. Another example could be a country with a stronger non agricultural economic base where the possibility of providing populations with livelihoods outside agriculture exists or a country with a too large population and land redistribution becomes impractical. In such cases, obviously attaining social equity through access to land may not be essential (in the former situation) or possible (in the latter situation).
    -- Updated Dec 29, 2008 --
  • 0
    Helpful Votes
    Guest portrait
    Dec 29, 2008
    From the summary of the discussions so far, I fully agree that one of objectives of a dryland tenure policy should be poverty reduction. A second objective should be strengthening the traditional tenure systems in the drylands by providing communities with legal ownership and authority over their land and natural resources. Most of the dryland communities live in communal areas whose rights are not protected by law but recognized at best administratively. Governments continue to undermine the customary laws around communal areas. First there is the practice that all land with no registered title becomes state land. The second approach is to replace customary land tenure with state government imposed individual property rights to land and land resources. Without secure rights land, dryland communities are not motivated to invest which puts drylands at risk. If poverty reduction is the ultimately goal then we need address the discriminatory relationship between the customary laws and other tenure
    systems such as free hold which are fully protected by the law.

    Most traditional tenure system did take into account issues of equity, ecological sustainability, social issues as well religious and cultural aspects. There is quite a bit of research work that has been carried on various communities and their values and principles, which were deeply rooted in the local land tenure institutions. These issues should be taken into account in a drylands tenure policy.
  • 0
    Helpful Votes
    Guest portrait
    Dec 29, 2008
    I just finished to read the comments about the week 1.
    Sorry if I couldn´t give you my comments at time but
    anyway I want to mention that is too important for our
    countries find the way to fight with the corruption, I
    say it because of the many cases in the structure of
    the State that have made difficult the implementation
    of polities. For these I agree that is too important
    empower people. This is maybe the first steps (We
    know, for example, that for ordering the use of the
    land is necesary to impulse a process to decide which
    is the principal use for it and this must be doing by
    asking the people). At the same time giving tools for
    improve the ways for use the land, education and
    economics solutions are others of our objetives. So we
    have to remember that for this problems is important
    considerate the others sectors of the State and they
    have to consider us, if not it doesn´t have sense.
    Well, I´ll be in touch trying to contribute in the
    Alberto Limo
    -- Updated Dec 29, 2008 --
    • 0
      Helpful Votes
      Guest portrait
      Dec 29, 2008
      Estimado Alberto Limo

      Le agredesco su amable contribución a nuesta discussion electronica. Si
      prefiere contribuir en castellano, y sus comentarios sean cortos (por favor)
      yo, con mucho gusto, proveeré un sumario de sus puntos en inglés para el


      Philip Dobie
      UNDP Drylands Development Centre
      +254 20 622057
    • 0
      Helpful Votes
      Dec 29, 2008
      Considero que uno de los elementos fundamentales en los que se debe basar cualquier politica de manejo de tierras aridas, debe partir de un análisis de oferta ambiental versus demanda de recursos, en este caso de ocupación de tierras. Es necesario fijar indicadores edaficos, ambientales y socio economicos que permitan medir el impacto (positivo o negativo) de la presión que se esta ejerciendo sobre los ecosistemas secos(Drylands). Estos indicadores serviran para indicar el camino a seguir y pueden ser relacionados deben marcar la pauta de políticas de manejo.

      I consider that one of the fundamental elements on which any policy for
      managing drylands should be based is an analysis of the environmental supply
      vs the demand for resources, in this case demand to occupy the land.
      Indicators – edaphic [soil], environmental and socio-economic – will be
      needed to allow [us] to measure the impact (positive or negative) of the
      pressures that are being exerted [on the system]. These indicators will
      serve as a guide to identify the route to be taken and could serve as a
      guideline for management policies.
      -- Updated Dec 29, 2008 --
      • 0
        Helpful Votes
        Guest portrait
        Dec 29, 2008
        Si bien es importante prestar atención al tema de
        cadenas productivas y afines, es relevante garantizar
        una adecuada organizaciòn de la Sociedad Civil que
        esta relacionada a este tema como condición necesaria
        en la implementación de políticas toda vez que ellas
        legitiman el proceso.

        Tengo entendido que en Africa la RIOD es muy fuerte y
        está conformada por un elevado número de miembros. Sin
        embargo en América Latina este es un espacio que
        requiere mayor apoyo. Mucho depende de la Cooperación
        Internacional para darle viabilidad a esta plataforma
        de trabajo. Todos sabemos que las políticas o planes
        de trabajo deben surgir básicamente desde abajo.

        Anteriormente me referí al tema de la corrupción (no
        deseo entrar en mayores detalles) como un factor que
        compromete las labores en países como el Perú, más aún
        si queda en manos de una sola entidad del Estado la
        responsabilidad de liderar el tema. En el caso del
        Perú al menos la entidad del Estado (INRENA) no ha
        logrado llevar acabo una labor de coordinación
        efectiva con los demás sectores del gobierno. No ha
        hecho las gestiones necesarias para la promulgación de
        una Ley de Conservación de Suelos por ejemplo, y
        tampoco ha mostrado interés en crear una unidad
        técnica dedicada exclusivamente a este tema. Tengo
        entendido que existe voluntad para crear este año esta
        unidad de trabajo dentro de su organigrama.

        Al respecto, a fin de no concentrar responsabilidades
        en una sola entidad y darle mayor transparencia al
        proceso es importante operativizar "Grupos de Trabajo
        Interinstitucionales" por zonas, reconocidos por el
        propio Estado a través de la norma legal pertinente e
        integradas por representantes de la Sociedad Civil que
        viene acompañando el proceso y aquellas nuevas que se
        muestran como actores claves y deberían ser invitadas,
        así como representantes de los sectores del Estado con
        injerencia en el tema (aqui entraría por ejemplo el
        sector economía a fin de impulsar el tema de las
        actividades productivas grupales que se viene
        mencionando en la presente conferencia y que incluso
        nos podrìa llevar hasta el tema de subsidios).

        Sin lugar a dudas la Cooperación Internacional juega
        un rol fundamental en derivar recursos a fin de
        fortalecer estos espacios. De más esta mencionar la
        importancia en el fortalecimiento institucional (sobre
        todo el de gobiernos locales) y el de capacidades como
        complemento a pesar que estemos refiriendonos a

        Finalmente, como ha mencionado nuestra compañera
        Yolanda Rubiano debemos prestar nuevamente atención al
        tema de los indicadores por más que este haya sido
        dejado de lado desde hace ya un buen tiempo, en
        particular los indicadores sociales a fin de
        garantizar el tema arriba indicado: participación.

        Sr. Philip Dobie he tratado de resumir al màximo mi

        Alberto Limo
        Lima Perú
  • 0
    Helpful Votes
    Guest portrait
    Dec 29, 2008
    Je pense que si l'on considère que la rareté de l'eau
    dans ces régions du monde,comme l'élément essentiel,
    la politique des gouvernements devait s'appuyer sur
    l'éducation et l'investissement en matière de la
    gestion des ressources naturelles (eau, sol, faune et

    Abdou Salla
    Butare, Rwanda
    • 0
      Helpful Votes
      Guest portrait
      Dec 29, 2008
      Cher Abdou,

      Je suis entierement d'accord avec toi , le role de l'Etat est capital , Pour
      L 'Etat ou la societe civil doit instaurer le dialogue entre les differents
      parties en conflit.L'etat pour resourdre ce probleme doit mettre sur pied un
      project integre a travers la subvention de la realisation des forages ou
      barrages qui seront utile aux paysans et aux eleveurs.

      Thank you

      Norbert Tchouaffe

Page Information

Popularity of this question:
#27 of 103 items
0 Helpful votes
At this page:
12 Answers 0 Pages Emailed
55291 Page Views 0 Attachments Downloaded
1 Meta-card Views 0 Videos Downloaded
0 Relationships and Highlights
Date CreatedMonday, December 29, 2008 2:36 PM
Date ModifiedMonday, December 29, 2008 3:22 PM
Version Comment: