Saturday, July 30, 2011

rights of Ethiopian pastoralists?

Today i just fell on this article from the Montreal gazette :

Ethiopia's leasing of arable land adding to crisis: report

I learnt very interesting things, as for example that pastoralists have the right to not be displaced from their own land and must be consulted when land is taken over. By chance, during a workshop last week, I was discussing the land certification process for the Amhara region with one of the experts. Land certification in Ethiopia is a process which regulate a sort of private ownership on land (guaranteed used of the land for a maximum of 99 years) . Amhara region is going pretty well compared to other region, and has certified all its highly productive crop land and is in process of creating a cadaster.
But the expert I talked to, was coming back from the lowlands in the Benishangul region and Amhara (area near to the Sudanese boarder). It seems that it is the only area where the certification process is not finished for the Amhara region. Interesting, as this implies that these people cannot prove ownership on their land, and therefore cannot enforce their rights. It seems that some farmers have a very hard time in getting their land certified, while other farmers signed a paper that they would leave their land, if needed. Also rumors indicate that some of this land is on the list for foreign investors (or "land grabber")...

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