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Land and Resource Tenure Rights
Photo Credit: Julie Larsen Maher © WCS


For many rural populations in Sub-Saharan Africa, land, forests, and other natural resources are vital to social, political, and economic life. They are often sources of livelihood, nutrition, and employment- being the basis for security, status, social identity, and political relations. For many rural people, their land also has cultural and spiritual significance.

In order to protect biodiversity, it is essential to maintain families’ rights to land and resources through strong rights and secure tenure. This task group works to promote local development and enable more effective conservation through enhancing land and resource tenure rights.

Activities & Achievements

In its second programmatic phase, ABCG members are focusing on three critical ecosystems: Greater Mahale Ecosystem, Tanzania (TNC, JGI); Northern rangelands, Tanzania (AWF, WRI); and Mai Tatu Forest Block, Democratic Republic of Congo (WCS, WWF). These ecosystems are anchors for biodiversity that support the livelihoods of local populations. Strengthening rights and securing tenure are central to biodiversity conservation.

Six ABCG members are paired to work in three regions:

Southern Tanzania- AWF and WRI

In this year, a systematic review was conducted of the approaches used and available by villages to aid in implementing Village Land-Use Plans (VLUPs), especially efforts to secure and protect the common property in their Village Land.

Western Tanzania- TNC and JGI

Land use planning and capacity building work is being completed through training District staff and donating equipment to the Departments of Land and Natural Resources of Mpanda and Uvinza districts.

In the Mpanda district, land use planning work was conducted in order to issue Certificates of Customary Rights of Occupancy (CCROs) to land owners.

In addition, staff from Mpanda District and Uvinza District were trained on Participatory Land Use Management (PLUM), Participatory Forest Management (PFM) and on the process of issuing CCROs using GIS software. After these trainings, the Districts are now ready to implement the remaining activities under the LRTR task group.

Democratic Republic of Congo- WCS and WWF

At Kabobo National Park, the task group engaged local communities to support legal gazettement of the park by then engaging stakeholders to create a representative coordination board. The group included traditional chiefs, civil society, the forestry department, and the local administration. Local communities identified different resources that they would like to access within the comanaged gazetted area, which is currently in the process of becoming a protected area.

News & Related Resources

Our 2019 Annual Report

ABCG’s overarching goals of mainstreaming biodiversity in human well-being and development agendas, promoting good conservation practices, and strengthening the role of social and development institutions in biodiversity conservation and human well-being, are being pursued within the context of six thematic foci:

Integrating Gender and Vulnerable Populations in Natural Resource Management

Women play critical land and natural resource management roles. According to a 2017 ABCG One Health report ‘based on gender differentiated roles, women are primarily responsible for care work that occurs in the domain of the home, including cooking, cleaning and caring for children and the elderly. Their high influence over water usage at the household level means they are most responsible for seeking and securing water resources. Women all over the world experience a far greater burden than male counterparts in terms of water collection, storage, and protection’.

October 2019 News Roundup

Our October News Digest is a roundup of news and events in the past quarter (July, August, September). Featured in the digest are updates on various activities that ABCG members have been involved in, including work on strengthening advocacy strategy planning in the Freshwater conservation (FW) and Water, Sanitation and Hygiene (WASH) integration activity. Included in the update is also news on a new toolkit published by IIED titled, Governance Assessment for Protected and Conserved Areas (GAPA). Methodology manual for GAPA facilitators.

News and Events Resources Roundup

Our July News Digest is a roundup of news and events in the past quarter (April, May, June). Featured in the digest are ABCG's successes in conserving nature and improving the wellbeing of communitiy members, during the period 2015-2018 through the collective efforts of our members and partners. In the same vein of successes stories, we also highlight another conservation milestone from one of Africa’s largest wildlife preserve, Niassa reserve, that marked a year without a single elephant found killed by poachers! 

2018 Annual Report

ABCG 2018 Annual Report 

More News & Resources