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Building resilience through sustainable rangeland landscapes in Tanzania

26 Aug 2018
Local level decisions

By Fiona Flintan, senior scientist– Rangelands Governance, International Livestock Research Institute and coordinator of ILC Rangelands Initiative-Global Component.

Resilience-building planning in drylands (including rangelands) requires a participatory, integrated approach that incorporates issues of scale (usually large scale) and the interconnectedness of dryland ecological and social systems. In an often-political environment that supports small, “manageable” administrative units and the decentralization of power and resources to them, planning at a large scale is particularly challenging, and will often demand working across administrative boundaries and/or collaboratively with multiple stakeholders.

In Tanzania, Village Land Act No. 5 of 1999 (VLA) and the Land Use Planning Act No. 6 of 2007 (LUP Act) guide planning at the local level. The VLA  grants power to Village Councils (VCs) and their institutions to prepare participatory village land use plans (VLUPs). The LUP Act provides for the formation of planning authorities, functions, and procedures of developing participatory VLUPs and approval processes, and grants power to VCs to prepare those plans.

The Tanzania National Land Use Planning Commission’s Guidelines for Village Land Use Planning, Administration and Management (the National Land Use Planning Commission NLUPC Guidelines) detail six main steps to follow when developing participatory VLUPs. Despite this guidance, limited resources mean that village land use planning rarely gets beyond step four of six, and support for the actual implementation of plans is lacking or extremely limited.

Village land use planning in rangelands faces various challenges. Lands held by individual villages are generally not sufficient to sustain rangeland production systems such as pastoralism, and rather villages share resources across village boundaries. Conventional land use planning tends to limit the mobility of pastoralists and others such as hunter-gatherers, whereas the semi-arid and arid environment of these areas demands that this mobility is retained.

The Sustainable Rangeland Management Project (SRMP), now in its third phase, has developed the process of joint village land use planning in order to support local level decision making over land use, improve the governance of land and resources, and better provide for mobility and sharing of rangelands resources across village boundaries. In order to be systematic in identifying new clusters of villages for scaling-up the joint village land use process, the NLUPC has mapped out a connected rangelands landscape from central Tanzania through to the northern coastal areas showing how livestock and people move across this landscape, as a complete pastoral landscape system. Pressures of land use change are now challenging this movement and conflicts between land users are increasingly occurring.

Stephen Nindi, Director General of the NLUPC will be making a presentation on this and other examples of how the government of Tanzania is developing a landscape approach in its spatial and land use planning at different levels, at the Global Landscapes Forum in a session on Bringing Rangelands into the Sustainable Landscapes Agenda, organized by the Rangelands Initiative of the International Land Coalition (ILC) on Wed. Aug. 29, 2018.

SRMP is implemented by ILRI in partnership with the Ministry of Livestock and Fisheries, the NLUPC and local CSOs with funding from IFAD (International Fund for Agricultural Development) and Irish Aid.

It contributes to the National Engagement Strategy (NES) of International Land Coalition (ILC) members in Tanzania. For more information click here.



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