Zuleikha Abdulrzuiq –Ilham Al Shahir
The country director of Food and Agriculture Organization in Sudan (FAO) Babagana Ahmadu has affirmed that the organization is working in cooperation with the Ministry of Agriculture for figuring out practical solutions for the constraints facing land use in Darfur.
He affirmed while addressing the workshop of land governance development via the use of guidelines of land governance and fishery and forestry resources and fisheries in Darfur that the mismanagement of land will lead to scarcity of food noting that the perfect management of lands will improve citizens livelihood,
He said the workshop aims at submitting the initial results of evaluating the legal administration of lands in Sudan.
He said FAO is working in cooperation with the Ministry of Agriculture for figuring out practical solutions to the constraints related to community’s access to land resources and the right of lands hold to guarantee food security to the local communities via the use of the voluntary guides with regards to the responsible administration of land hold in Sudan and the fisheries and forestry in the framework of the national food security.
Babagana affirmed that this project provides detailed guidelines for handling some tough constraints for managing land hold including securing the access to crops lands , cattle routes and forestry as well as availing appropriate mechanisms for settling the disputes related to the rights of lands hold owners either official disputes or norms protected by the constitution of the country
He attributed the causes of lack of food security in Darfur to many factors , however he affirmed that FAO thinks one of the problems is the method of managing lands noting that despite the fact that so often the rights of land holding are intertwined but he said the intertwined rights are to be controlled in a responsible manner via many methods but the clear legal provisions that lay down the rules protect the rights of lands holding from violations from the part of individuals.
Babgana further affirmed that the mismanagement of land will lead to scarcity of food which will in turn lead to malnutrition noting that the perfect management of land resources will lead to improving livelihood of citizens which he think is a key element of success in life.
He reviewed the advantages of this project which he summed in availing empowering efficient environment for the rural social stability through generalizing the responsible management of lands along with curbing competition in the field of land resources and building up conformity of opinions with regards to lands uses and managing lands via the use of the tools provided by the guiding principles on responsible management of holding lands , fisheries and forests and facilitating the voluntary return of the internally displaced persons via enhancing food security and the basic services in five return sites.
Babaganda went on to say that stability in Darfur can not be realized without social stability and without laws and institutional policies that recognize and respect those entitled to ownership and protecting the legitimate rights of possession against threats and availing access to justice upon the violation of the ownership rights and preventing disputes.
He affirmed that this can be achieved in the event of cooperation and joint work in addition to the availability of political will and innovations
He added that Darfur is one of the richest parts of Sudan and endowed with the Gum Arabic , energy and biodiversity , the rich mineral resources , the diversifies cultures are features of the region of Darfur , the taping of the big potentials requires not only encouraging investment for sustainable development and reducing poverty, however boosting mechanisms for the responsible management of resources the corner stone of national food security .
For his part Bahar Abdulgadir Fadul the commissioner of pastoralist and nomads commission commended the role of FAO , the European Union and other development partners for their efforts to achieve the aspired for targets
Fadul said in a speech he delivered at the workshop that all lands in Darfur is not registered and they are only subject to the norms provisions a matter which require big action for finding legal systems for lands holding particularly agricultural lands in Darfur to adapt to these norms as per the constitution of Sudan
He outlined that Sudan has very much been affect by drought wave that stroke the African continent in the previous periods along with the climate changes which adversely affected Darfur a matter that brought about big transformations that require remedy to guarantee providing means of livelihood
Fadul said we are in need to major remedies for the problems of displacement and the restoring the vegetation and environmental adaption in the voluntary return areas.
On the occasion of workshop on the project “Promoting the provision of legitimate land tenure rights using voluntary guidelines on responsible governance of tenure of land, fisheries, and forest (VGGT) in the context of national food security in greater Darfur Region of Sudan”. FAO (United Nations Agriculture and Food Organization) Mr. Babagana Ahmadu. , addressed the meeting with the following statement:
FAO in collaboration with the Ministry of Agriculture has been working together to provide practical solutions to the existing challenges of community access to land resource and tenure rights to assure food security to the local communities using the Voluntary Guidelines on the Responsible Governance of Tenure of Land, Fisheries and Forests in the Context of National Food Security (VGGT). The instrument provides detailed guidelines for dealing with some of the intractable challenges of tenure governance including secure access and management of crop land, livestock routes, rangelands and pasture, the provision of adequate and practical dispute resolution
mechanisms where the rights of tenure holders whether formal or customary are protected by the constitution of the country. These are crucial issues we all acknowledge individually and collectively.
I say crucial because, as you are all aware, the causes of food and nutrition insecurity in an area with potential resources like Darfur are attributed to many factors. However, FAO views one of the problems to be from the perspective of land resource management by the rightful tenure holders. Although tenure rights often overlap, responsibly governing overlapping rights is achieved through a number of ways but clear legal provisions that sets rules that protect tenure rights from infringement by individuals, government and non-governmental entities is one. Poor governance of land tenure, forest and fisheries lead to food scarcity and hence leads to malnutrition. While, proper land resource management leads to improved livelihoods, a key to success in life.
Ladies and gentlemen, we have much to talk about on the merits of good land tenure governance. However, it is necessary to focus on this specific project which aims to achieve three-fold benefits to the targeted communities in 20 localities of the five Darfur sates.
These benefits include: a) Setting of effective enabling environment for rural social stability through mainstreaming responsible governance of land resources in land administration processes; b) Reducing land resource competition and building consensus on its uses and management using the tools provided by the voluntary guideline on responsible governance on tenure of land, fisheries and forest, and; c) Facilitating voluntary return of internally displaced peoples by enhancing food security and related basic services at five return sites.
We cannot improve lives and livelihoods of any community in Darfur without social stability, without laws and institutional policies that:
a) Recognizes and respect all tenure right holders and their rights, b) Safeguards legitimate tenure rights against threats,
c) Promote and facilitates the enjoyment of legitimate tenure rights, d) Provide access to justice when tenure rights are infringed upon, and e) Prevent tenure disputes, violent conflicts and opportunities for corruption.
This is a huge task but achievable when we all agree to work together. The challenges require high level of political commitment, innovations, participation and appropriate tailor-made responses.
FAO the appreciates that role of all stakeholders in the implementation of this project particularly, the European Union that provided the funding.
FAO stand ready to continue to work closely with the federal, states and community institutions in implementing the project to ensure accelerated food and nutrition security for Darfur. We are also willing to collaborate with flagship projects earmarked for Darfur States such as Darfur Development Strategy and others.
Good land governance underlines all the development efforts and will be the game changer going into the future.
Ladies and gentlemen, all participants in this workshop have been carefully selected based on your knowledge and experience. I therefore urge you to actively participate in this workshop and give us clear direction
to address the legal gaps in our land laws. I will be happy to count on your efforts and enthusiasm in working with us to achieve the intended objectives of this workshop.