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Land and natural resources conflicts in transboundary agroecosystem management project Kagera Basin

by Syprose Achieng’ Ogola - International Consultant

This assessment report on land and other natural resources conflicts in part, addresses the second outcome of the Trans boundary agro-ecosystem management project in the Kagera Basin  that  enabling policy planning and legislative conditions are in place to support and facilitate the sustainable management of agro-ecosystem and restoration of degraded land. Specifically, component 2.2 Regulatory actions and conflict resolution mechanisms developed and used to promote - or remove existing barriers to - sustainable land and agro-ecosystem management.

The report provides a comprehensive analysis of natural resource conflicts and effects on sustainable land management. Focus group discussions and key informants interviews at various levels highlighted that competition for land and other natural resources are as result of peoples need to sustain their livelihoods, what differs is the dimension, level and intensity of these conflicts that vary from country to country and even lower from District to District. There are also Trans boundary resource related conflicts in the four countries besides in country conflicts. Identified in country conflicts include conflicting land tenure systems, land conflicts between IDPs and refugees,  State and individuals/community land conflicts, encroachment into government lands such as wetlands, national reserves and forests, conflicting government policies, conflicts between herders and farmers and water conflicts.

In conclusion, the reports states clearly, that land and other natural resources related conflicts affect sustainable land management. Relentless efforts should be put to address latent and perceived resource conflicts before embarking on efforts to improve sustainable utilization.

The report has proposed a framework for negotiation process for sustainable land and other natural resources management. TAMP Kagera should “pilot”  dialogue processes  among resource users using Participatory Negotiation Territorial Development (PNTD)  and Welcoming Capacity approaches to address and resolve land and other natural resources conflicts, in country and trans boundary.

The report has provided recommendations/ way forward for TAMP Kagera such as

  • Strengthening policies and conflict resolution institutions
  • Development of land suitability maps and land use map
  • Training workshops
  • Awareness creation and sensitization at the community levels
  •  Empowerment of FFS and the community
  • Alternative sources of livelihoods
  • Regional workshop
  • Policy harmonization across the Kagera River Basin
  • Research on alternative sources of energy and building materials

Download the report