The Netherlands Enterprise & Development Agency (RVO) is pleased to announce its collaboration with the Embassy of the Kingdom of the Netherlands (EKN) in Bujumbura, ZOA, VNG International and MiPAREC for the implementation of a LAND-at-scale project in Burundi “Amahoro @ Scale - An integrated approach towards improved tenure security and land governance in Burundi”. The intervention will run until 2025 and has a budget of 2.8 million Euros.
Burundi’s land challenges
Burundi has the world’s highest Global Hunger Index Score and around 45 percent of the population is affected by food insecurity. The country is confronted with increasing scarcity of land as a result of population growth, large numbers of returnees and IDPs and the effects of climate change. With the majority of Burundians depending on agriculture for their food and livelihoods, land scarcity makes this reliance on agriculture precarious.
The pressure on land gives rise to many land disputes with over 55% of all court cases being related to conflicts over land. The outcomes of these disputes are often highly uncertain, as land is commonly not registered and no good records of ownership or use rights exists.
Scaling Land Tenure Registration (LTR) approaches to national level
ZOA has worked in Makamba Province on land tenure registration since 2014. The sustainability of the district land offices (SFCs) remains a challenge, as well as guaranteeing gender equality in land governance. Amahoro @ Scale will build on these experiences, with a view of completing the LTR-activities in the remaining Nyanza Lac district, as well as scaling up the holistic LTR-approach to a national level through the development and adoption of a business plan to be adopted by all SFCs in the country. Ultimately, the LAND-at-scale project aims to improve tenure security of women and men, to improve conflict resolution and to create the basis for improved agricultural production, access to justice and sustainable, climate-smart agri-businesses.
Successfully scaling LTR approaches at a national level requires effective, cost-efficient and conflict sensitive processes to be defined and agreed upon by all relevant stakeholders. This will be captured in a business plan for SFCs that takes into account the lessons from other LTR initiatives, the national legal framework as well as international standards for LTR.
“For land tenure registration to be sustainable, it needs to facilitate the resolution of land-related conflicts that are rooted in, among other things, refugee flows and repatriation, the great pressure on land for subsistence, and the lack of effective local land administration services”, says Herman Kamphuis, Country Director at ZOA Burundi. “With our partners VNG International and MiPAREC, we ensure that the business plan for land tenure registration will not only cover land registration activities, but will also integrate essential elements regarding sustainable local governance as well as conflict resolution and gender equality”.
Strengthening land governance has been a priority of the EKN in Bujumbura for several years. “The embassy considers security of land tenure to be an essential prerequisite for local livelihoods and food systems to function in an efficient, sustainable and equitable way,” says Jan Willem Nibbering from the EKN. “We believe this LAND-at-scale project will complement other ongoing EKN-supported interventions, both in the area of food security as well as in the area access to justice”.
Over the course of 4 years, Amahoro-at-scale aims to achieve the following outcomes:
- The tested LTR approach is implemented in Nyanza Lac through the operationalization of the SFC.
- Local land conflict resolution mechanisms are effectively resolving land conflicts in Nyanza Lac.
- The development of a business case will result in the rollout of financially sustainable and technically functional SFCs around the country.
Want to know more about LAND-at-scale?
The Dutch Ministry of Foreign Affairs funds LAND-at-scale. This project in Burundi is funded for 2,8 million Euros and commenced in December 2021. To stay updated on Amahoro-at-scale and other LAND-at-scale projects, please sign up for our quarterly newsletter.