What was the defining moment that led you to this innovation?
I had a chance to participate in two pilot projects on property formalization conducted by Tanzania's Property and Business Formalization Programme, commonly known as MKURABITA. I was representing an NGO working with pastoralists. It was apparent from the projects that there was no framework for the security over communal lands, as was the case with individual or family property.
Communal grazing lands though set aside by village councils, albeit in inadequate sizes and relevance to the designated use, were generally considered by the village councils as reserve lands that could be open to re-allocation to other uses and users that might be considered to be more productive.
The pilot projects guidelines did not provide any framework for the security of the commons. It did not appear that the fact is much of a concern to merit investing in seeking a solution to the anomaly. The users of the commons did not have rights to the lands, even though their livelihoods depended on them. The common lands were then viewed as potentially a source of conlict. In one project, a clear disconnection between pastures and water sources for livestock was so evident, making one pastoralist joke that they needed a 'flying breed of livestock' to be able to take them over the farms to the watering points.
According to the projects, there was little or no concrete consideration to the linkages and security of cross-village-border resources used communally, such as water and seasonal pastures.
The urge grew to take advantage of a combination of various available policy, legal and administrative opportunities to raise the issue through a project such is being proposed. A disrtict land use framework plan is the ideal starting point as it concerns on resolving issues within the district that are beyond the capability and of a village council. Issues that concern about four or five villages, such as a pastoral grazing land, water catchment area or a large conservation scheme that might need to be decided at the district level.
A disrtict land use framework plan is the logical starting point to give the land stakeholders a general vision of the utilization of the district's natural resources. We need to develop a model that can be replicated and scaled up for the benefit of common property users.
Tell us about the social innovator—the person—behind this idea.
Lembulung M. Ole Kosyando is a teacher turned to social development work, building the new role around human rights and land rights, with the main focus on pastoralists.
Having worked in local and international organizations mostly in programmes to do with natural resources management, project and village development planning, the innovator has also had extensive invlovement in international networks and events on and around environment and biodiversity. This has mainly been under the auspices of the indigenous peoples and local communities.
The idea at the moment is to influence the inclusion of a framework for common property formalization into the process and procedures being developed for property formalization in the country.
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