TMG Think Tank for Sustainability

Human rights-based and gender transformative approach to Participatory and Integrated Land Use Planning

Rights4Land in Ethiopia

Many factors in Ethiopia result in high pressure on land. Land scarcity, exacerbated by droughts, and high demand for land due to population growth, urban expansion into rural areas, large-scale agricultural and other private and public investments requiring land, contribute to high competition for land, leading to land conflicts if not planned and governed well. Land governance in Ethiopia is characterized by lack of transparency and consultation. This means that land use decision making is dominated by powerful actors such as private investors and the government, leaving vulnerable and marginalized land users, particularly those with informal tenure rights only, with few or no opportunities to influence decisions and claim their rights. This often results in eviction and landlessness, or low compensation for people who lose their land, home and livelihood, pushing them further into poverty. 

The Participatory and Integrated Land Use Planning programme of GIZ Ethiopia aims to overcome these land governance challenges by improving the institutional capacities and regulatory framework for integrated land use planning at the national level and in the region of Amhara, Oromia, and Benishangul-Gumuz, in accordance with international human rights obligations of the Government of Ethiopia. 

Applying a human rights-based and gender transformative approach to land use planning has the potential to address power imbalances in land use decision making, empower women and vulnerable or marginalized land users to defend their rights, reduce discriminatory practices and increase accountability of government officials towards land-users. It can protect people from arbitrary loss of their rights, including through forced eviction. 

Human rights-based and gender transformative integrated land use plans balance conflicting interests and reconcile economic, social, cultural and environmental goals, contributing to sustainable and equitable development.  

TMG Research supports GIZ Ethiopia in the implementation of the PILUP II programme, by: 

  • Developing training material and conducting trainings of key actors in land use planning, including land use planners, CSO’s and the Ethiopian Human Rights Commission, on the application of a human rights-based approach to land use planning.  

  • organising an experience and learning exchange event with women groups and CSOs on women’s land rights and their engagement in land use planning processes 

  • supporting an assessment of the legal land use planning framework in terms of its consistency with international human rights standards and the VGGT. 

This work builds on TMG’s Rights4Land work, including the Human Rights 4 Land Navigator and the Monitoring Tool. See more information about this work here. 

Project Name
Human rights-based and gender transformative approach to Participatory and Integrated Land Use Planning

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