LEMU and NLC host a global learning week in Uganda to promote Government-CSO partnership in the land governance sector, 9th-15th June, 2024

LEMU and NLC host a global learning week in Uganda to promote Government-CSO partnership in the land governance sector, 9th-15th June, 2024

June 26, 2024 Actvivities, news 0

Land and Equity movement in Uganda (LEMU) was honored to host a week-long learning event at the Speke Resort Munyonyo, organised by the International Land Coalition (ILC), the National Land Coalition (NLC UG), and the Netherlands Enterprise Agency (RVO) under the auspices of the Ministry of Lands, Housing and Urban Development (MoLHUD) of the Republic of Uganda, intended to share experiences on the power of GOV-CSO partnerships in the land governance sector.

LEMU hosted the learning week to promote successful government and CSOS partnership in the land governance sector on 9th June-15th June 2024

The convening attracted participation from government representatives, CSOs, international NGOs, and various stakeholders from over 35 countries including but not limited to Rwanda, Kenya, Tanzania, Burundi, Lesotho, Ethiopia, Liberia, Malawi, DRC, Burkina Faso, Cameroon, Madagascar, Philippians, Colombia, Kyrgyzstan, Egypt, Mongolia and Sierra Leone. The event facilitated constructive knowledge and experience sharing from participants across the globe.

The learning week event commenced with field visits to two strategically selected locations; Dokolo in the Northern part of Uganda and Butaleja district located in the Eastern part of the country between 9th June-11th June, 2024.

The Dokolo field visit location; Awer Central Forest Reserve, located in Adwong dok inyom B village, Okwongodul parish, Okwongodul sub-county, in Dokolo district, specifically facilitated and hosted by Land and Equity Movement in Uganda (LEMU) is one of the 17 investment cases where LEMU carried out interventions to promote responsible investments between 2022 and 2023 in the districts of Dokolo and Amolatar. The community neighboring Awer forest has for long been facing land related conflicts as a result of private investment in the central forest reserve.

The field visit specifically hosted by Uganda Community Based Association for Women and Children Welfare (UCOBAC) demonstrated the progress made in strengthening partnerships between communities and local land institutions in Butaleja district, to improve mapping and registration processes along with conflict mediation capacity and natural resource management, including in wetlands.

The Butaleja field visit location exposed participants to the use and uptake of progressive land tools by local stakeholders, including local communities, such as Fit-for-Purpose Land Administration & Conflict Mediation or Climate-Resilient Land Use Planning and Community Engagement. Participants also gained insight into how the national land information system works with a bottom-up perspective.

Both field locations provided the space for the participants to observe the benefits of government and civil society partnerships at the grassroots level. The week-long exercise showcased best practices, challenges, lessons learned, and strategies for improving land governance, informing policy and legal reviews. Discussions included successful land reforms, partnership successes and failures, coordination mechanisms, gender transformative approaches, sustainable self-financing for land registration, and climate-smart land use planning.

At the official event opening at Speke Resort Hotel in Munyonyo, the president of the Republic of Uganda, His Excellency Yoweri Kaguta Museveni, represented by the Vice President H.E Jessica Alupo, commended the innovative approaches in the land sector that are currently enabling Uganda to address issues of land ownership and historical injustices especially amongst the grassroot communities.

The learning week event was program packed with at least 7 plenary sessions and over 9 break out sessions, carefully programmed to allow for exhaustive discussions on experiences, challenges, lessons etc. on Government-CSO partnerships in the land governance sector especially in the context of the countries represented.

LEMU hosted the learning week to promote successful government and CSOS partnership in the land governance sector on 9th June-15th June 2024Key areas discussed included constructive feedback from both field visits, building partnerships for successful land reforms in light of the SDGs and the African Union Agenda 2063 (The Africa we want) was moderated by Dr. Mike Taylor, the Director of the Secretariat at the International Land Coalition, the land policy reform in Uganda: An inclusive, participatory and multilayer process moderated by Freda Orochi from the Food Rights Alliance, Uganda.

Dr Juan Pablo Sarmiento, Scientist, CIFOR-ICRAF facilitated the discussions on Key findings on GOV-CSO Study and Interactive Session with Cases from the World and interactive session on Government and CSO s partnerships conducted within a total of 9 breakout sessions.

Key topics under the 9 breakout sessions included; Closer look at successes and failures of partnerships and validation of the Global Review, Senior Government Officials Roundtable: Coordination tools and mechanisms established by governments and the role played by CSOs, Gender Transformative Approaches, Introduction to the toolkit to support GOV-CSO partnerships, Partnering for Sustainable Financing Land Registration and Administration, Engaging Civil Society and other non-state actors in Land Tenure Regularisation Programs: opportunities and challenges, Land Data and accountabilities, Collaborative climate smart land use planning and Ensuring the Sustainability of Multi-Actor Platforms (Land for Life).

The global learning event was also graced with the presence of the Minister of Lands, housing and urban development, Hon Judith Nabakooba. She highlighted the positive impact of government and civil society organization partnerships on securing land tenure, despite limited budget allocations. The minister further emphasized the importance of social safeguards for inclusiveness and re-echoed the President’s call for partnerships to drive Uganda towards industrialization and commercial agriculture.

She expressed her gratitude towards the International Land Coalition, National Land Coalition, Netherlands Enterprise Agency, CSOs, development partners, and the National Organizing Committee for orchestrating the learning week. The Ministry committed to implementing the meeting’s recommendations with the support of all land governance partners.

Dr. Theresa Auma, the Executive Director of LEMU noted that through their efforts, some of the land conflicts and complaints have been addressed, the locals according to her are starting to appreciate the importance of the forest and starting to realise how they can benefit from it.

Auma reiterated the need for continuous partnerships among all stakeholders in the land governance. She continued that throughout the land reforms that have been taking place in Uganda, collaboration has existed, but in the process of organising and putting together this important learning week, that collaboration has even grown stronger, with the Ministry of Lands leading the way.

At the closing ceremony of the event on 13th June 2024, Uganda’s prime minister Hon. Robinah Nabbanja emphasised the importance of multi-stakeholder partnerships in advancing sustainable and equitable land tenure, governance and highlighted Uganda’s achievement of issuing over 82,000 legal documents to customary landowners through such partnerships, despite limited resources.

The various reports that her office receives concerning on land conflicts and evictions coupled with the background in representing vulnerable populations in Kakumiro district have triggered her attention to actively involve in and further drive the necessity of securing land rights among stakeholders to improve livelihoods and also advocate for multi-stakeholder interventions to address land related issues.

The prime minister emphasized the need to document land rights, expedite land registration, support land reforms, regularize tenure security, reform land markets, promote good governance, and reduce corruption in the land sector.

She further referenced global and regional frameworks for land governance, including the UN Agenda 2030 and the AU Land Governance Strategy 2023-2032. She congratulated participants who visited Butaleja and Dokolo districts, witnessing the positive impacts of partnerships in the land sector.

She encouraged further visits to other districts to learn from Uganda’s diverse experiences, mentioning areas like Kasese, Mubende, Moroto, and her home district Kakumiro, where various land conflicts and issues are being addressed.

She thanked participants for their contributions and invited them to explore Uganda’s natural beauty before officially declaring the Learning Week closed.


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