The Netherlands Enterprise & Development Agency (RVO) is pleased to announce its collaboration with the Embassy of the Kingdom of the Netherlands (EKN) in N’Djamena, Kadaster International, Oxfam Chad and Oxfam Intermon for the implementation of a LAND-at-scale project in Chad “Land Reform based on rapid evolutions and present crisis”. The country intervention will run until 2025 and has a budget of 2 million Euros.
Chad is at the verge of an emerging land tenure crisis. As observed in many countries in Africa, formal and customary tenure systems overlap. Customary tenure systems, that generally prevail in rural areas, differ from region to region, with each its own needs and practices. Land conflicts are abundant, caused by degradation and transformation of land surfaces caused by climate change, as well as land investments by domestic investors with disputed legitimacy. Women, particularly, struggle in practice to obtain the same rights to land as men, even though country’s constitution enshrines gender equality.
These land challenges play against a backdrop of a country in which internal conflicts take place. A land tenure crisis could lead to more disputes over land, weakened land productivity, uncontrolled urban development, and result in further social unrest of the country if not adequately addressed. Within this context, the LAND-at-scale project aims to contribute to more inclusive and just land governance, and more transparent and adequate land administration in Chad, especially for tenure insecure groups (women and youth), which creates security for rural communities to protect their rights over productive resources they depend on, and invest in sustainable income generating activities.
The LAND-at-scale project consists of the following project strategies:
- Finalizing of the Land Code: review and rewrite, combined with a multi-stakeholder validation workshop.
- Supporting socio-economic land reform, with special attention to inclusion of women and youth, strengthening civil society organizations, capacity building on agricultural practices and dispute resolution mechanisms.
- Improving the land registration system in Chad by developing a blueprint and roadmap towards the preferred future situation, together with the relevant government and non-government authorities in Chad.
Oxfam Chad has been working on the topic of land for several years in the country. “We are at a critical point for land governance in Chad. Finalizing the Land Code is essential and must be done in an inclusive way. The implementation of this project will contribute to the objective of reducing inequalities, especially for women and young people, which Oxfam is promoting in Chad,” says Ramatou Adamou Ousmane from Oxfam Chad. “Ignoring or shortcutting land-related challenges in Chad, would mean that other development challenges will emerge in an even more violent way in the next decades”. Oxfam organized a launch of the project in N’Djamena in on 16 and 17 November, which was attended by representatives from ministries, civil society organizations, land governance professionals and donor organizations.
Kadaster International will be responsible to implement the third strategy. “The land registration system in Chad has not been strongly developed over the last years” says Christelle van den Berg, regional coordinator for Africa for Kadaster International. “This LAND-at-scale project requires close collaboration with the relevant government authorities in Chad. Only then can we develop a roadmap to a strong and sustainable land registration system in the country”.
The Netherlands Embassy Office in Chad was opened three years ago. Governance, development, stability and peace are key themes in the work of the Office. “This LAND-at-scale projects responds to a real need, that is what I hear from government actors but also civil society and the private sector”, says Chargé d’Affaires Mark Rutgers van der Loeff from the Embassy Office. “By addressing policy reform at national level and supporting smallholder farmers in adopting climate-responsive agriculture, the project contributes to sustainable development -- but will hopefully also reduce a big source of disputes and conflicts, which conflicts over land ownership currently is’.
“For the LAND-at-scale portfolio, the project in Chad is a great example of how cadastral efforts at national level are combined with lobbying and advocacy-activities at local level,” says Astrid Broekaart, program coordinator for LAND-at-scale at the Netherlands Enterprise Agency. “Connecting the two is critical for just, inclusive and effective land governance and it is great to see this happening in this partnership between Kadaster International and Oxfam”.
The Dutch Ministry of Foreign Affairs funds LAND-at-scale. To stay updated on this LAND-at-scale project and others, please sign up for our quarterly newsletter.