The long running conflict of Loliondo in Tanzania
Posted on Mar 13, 2011
Resolving the Land Use Conflict in Loliondo
"..burned homesteads, reported human rights abuses, 50,000 cattle displaced and considerable economic loss to local communities...What it will take to bring peace to the area is still up for debate."
Policy Brief - Resolving the Land Use Conflict in Loliondo
For years there has been conflict in Loliondo surrounding land and natural resource uses. The conflict is complex, with many stakeholders involved, but the root of the problem is clear—land. The drought of July 2009 brought conflict tensions to a head, resulting in burned homesteads, reported human rights abuses, 50,000 cattle displaced and considerable economic loss to local communities. Since then more than 15 investigative missions have been carried out, yet there remains no change or progress. What it will take to bring peace to the area is still up for debate. This brief outlines key findings and policy recommendations that are essential to a fair, just and equitable resolution. At the core of this, is communities’ interests and rights must be upheld, which in short means communities must maintain control over the land in Loliondo.
For years there has been conflict in Loliondo surrounding land and natural resource uses. The conflict is complex, with many stakeholders involved, and Loliondo’s location, bordering the Serengeti National Park and serving as prime grazing area for pastoralists in the region, makes it one of the most highly coveted land areas in Tanzania.
This report provides an overview of the conflict in Loliondo, reviewing historical information, current land uses and tenure arrangements. The main land uses are photographic tourism, hunting tourism and livestock keeping, which all bring different economic benefits to the area. According to Village Land Act No. 5 of 1999, all land in Loliondo Division is classified as Village Land. However, there is spatial overlap of Village Lands and a Game Controlled Area (GCA), which since 1992 has been leased to the Ortello Business Corporation. Prior to 2009, GCAs had no bearing on land use or management; however, the 2009 Wildlife Conservation Act prohibits farming and livestock grazing in GCA. This new Act poses a huge problem to the communities that have been living and using the land in Loliondo for decades.
An economic summary of the different land uses provides a better understanding of the potential revenue that could be generated in Loliondo.
This summary informs the final section of the report, which evaluates the land tenure and land use options and the various implications associated with each.
TNRF, February 2011. http://www.tnrf.org/loliondo#policy
Report warns on Loliondo conflict
The country risks losing USD3 million revenue from livestock related-activities and about 20,000 people rendered landless, if the Loliondo conflict is not resolved properly.
This is according to a report by Tanzania Natural Resource Forum (TNRF) which has reviewed past and present conflicts in Loliondo area, which borders Serengeti National Park and it evaluates different land use and tenure options as well.
“This study is essential so that independent research is available on the Loliondo conflict,” explained Edward Loure, coordinator of Ujamaa Community Resource Trust (UCRT).
“I hope the findings can contribute to a sustainable and peaceful resolution,” he said.
Three main land options for the disputed area are identified and analysed in the report — the game controlled area (GCA), village land and wildlife management area (WMA). The report evaluates potential economic, environmental and social impacts of each.
The findings show that the GCA option is substantially less favourable both economically and socially, as under it people will be evicted from their homes and deprived of their animal husbandry, the main source of livelihoods in Loliondo will decrease significantly.
Currently, the Ortello Business Corporation of Dubai has exclusive hunting rights in the GCA, which brings in US$819,000 annual revenue, which is significantly less than what tourism and livestock revenue could provide.
“It’s true that there’s not one silver bullet solution in Loliondo,” said TNRF chairman Alais Morindat “but if a GCA is selected as the best option, then it should be a sign to all Tanzanian citizens that foreign interests are being put ahead of our own.”
The WMA option appears the most balanced compromise of all three, as it would allow land to remain under village ownership and management but it would also ensure a long-term conservation of this important ecosystem.
On Thursday, civil society organisations host a meeting in Loliondo to present the report findings.
The report and research was carried out by Tanzania Natural Resource Forum, based on a technical support and background research from Maliasili Initiatives.
As a way of resolving the land use conflict in Loliondo, land was in 1980 distributed for expanding agricultural investment, which jeopardised wildlife migration and pastoralist land uses in the area.
For years, there has been conflict in Loliondo surrounding land and natural resource uses. The conflict is complex; with many stakeholders involved but the root of the problem is clear poor land governance.
Conflict tensions started in July 2009, when homesteads were set on fire, 50,000 cattle were displaced and local communities experienced economic losses.
Since then at least 15 investigative missions have been carried out, yet there remains no change or progress. What will take to bring about peace in the area is not yet known.
At the core of Loliondo land dispute is the notion that community interests and rights must be upheld, which means communities must maintain control over Loliondo land.
By Lusekelo Philemon, The Guardian.