Rangelands: Pastoralists Do Plan! Community-Led Land Use Planning in the Pastoral Areas of Ethiopia | Land Portal

Resource information

Date of publication: 
December 2016
Resource Language: 
ISBN / Resource ID: 

The Government of Ethiopia and more specifically, the Rural Land Administration and Use Directorate, (RLAUD) has identified land use planning as an important tool for the sustainable development of the country. Land use planning is vital for optimising the use of the land and for reconciling conflicts between different land uses. Land use planning should be carried out at different levels – from national to regional to local including community: these different levels should support and integrate with each other.

Pastoral areas cover around 60% of the country – mainly found in lowland arid and semi-arid parts. These areas are dominated by livestock production, but are increasingly seeing other land uses creeping in. Though in the past, customary institutions have managed to govern the land well to prevent land use conflicts and to protect the environment, they have found this increasingly challenging as their authority has been challenged, problems have become more complex, population has increased, and competition for land and resources has grown.

With this in mind, the Government of Ethiopia has developed a process of participatory land use planning, currently being piloted in two pastoral areas of the country. This process builds on the pastoral planning that is already undertaken by local communities, as part of good land management and decision making processes. In order to fully understand this pastoral planning the RLAUD and the International Land Coalition Rangelands Initiative supported a study to review how pastoralists plan in five different pastoral areas of the country. This Issue Paper documents this review, highlighting some of the intricacies of the planning processes, related governance structures, and the challenges and opportunities faced by pastoral communities. It is anticipated that this Issue Paper will guide other planning processes, in the same way that it has guided the development of the government-led participatory land use planning process in Ethiopia.

Authors and Publishers

Author(s), editor(s), contributor(s): 

Flintan, Fiona
Tefera, Samuel
Enawgaw, Cherie
Tekle Loyale, Dessalegn
Eid, Abdurehman
Olibui, Olisarali
LaTosky, Shauna
Detona, Mohammed
Nigatu, Akloweg


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The United Nations Convention to Combat Desertification in Those Countries Experiencing Serious Drought and/or Desertification, Particularly in Africa (UNCCD) is a Convention to combat desertification and mitigate the effects of drought through national action programs that incorporate long-term strategies supported by international cooperation and partnership arrangements.


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