Projekt

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Communal land reform in Namibia - Implications of Individualisation of land tenure

Gesuchsteller/in Graefe Olivier
Nummer 140433
Förderungsinstrument Projektförderung (Abt. I-III)
Forschungseinrichtung Unité de Géographie Département des Géosciences Université de Fribourg
Hochschule Universität Freiburg – FR
Hauptdisziplin Human- und Wirtschaftsgeografie, Humanökologie
Beginn/Ende 01.11.2012 - 31.01.2016
Bewilligter Betrag 490'116.00
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Alle Disziplinen (2)

Disziplin
Human- und Wirtschaftsgeografie, Humanökologie
Ethnologie

Keywords (5)

social and political ecology; political anthropology; land management; social geography; rural development

Lay Summary (Englisch)

Lead
Lay summary

At its independence in 1990, Namibia inherited a twofold land rights system based in the colonial separation of „indigenous? and „settler? areas. In communal areas, where the major part of the population lives, there are no free-hold titles, but use rights are assigned to households by Traditional Authorities. In 2002, the Communal Land Reform Act laid the basis for formalization and state registration of communal land rights; a process that is on-going and far from complete. Its aim is to make land tenure more secure and thus to increase the likelihood of tenants investing in the land; some see it as a precursor of a fully-fledged privatisation of communal lands. The consequences of land registration are controversially discussed in Namibia and are likely to provide important lessons for land registration elsewhere. Until now, however, no research is done to understand the local preconditions and consequences of land registration and the social and ecological dynamics linked to it. In close cooperation with the donor agencies financing the process and the Namibian authorities charged with implementing land rights registration, the proposed research project will accompany the registration process and provide a holistic image of its social and ecological consequences. The project?s main aim is to assess whether more secure land titles can indeed protect land rights of the rural poor and simultaneously further sustainable agricultural development, as claimed by Namibian political actors, and what main factors are determining the likelihood of such an outcome. 

The interdisciplinary research project will combine methods from social anthropology, as well as social and physical geography. In a pre-defined transect combining town lands, peri-urban areas, fields and rangelands, it will analyse the history of different land rights prior and in the run-up to communal land registration, will accompany the registration process itself and assess post-registration land conflicts. The resulting in-depth image of land uses will be combined with an analysis of soil quality in selected plots to create a baseline and the conceptual and practical tools for an ecological impact analysis. In order to integrate results from different research methods, a landscape change perspective will be used and the consequences of the transition between land rights regimes for landscape change and for social equity will be assessed. 

The project will be highly important for the on-going theoretical discussions about ownership and sustainable land use, which link up to larger questions about pro-poor policies. It is very relevant for land policies in Namibia and beyond, offering a model case for the complex issues surrounding formalisation and privatisation of land use. All over Africa, these issues have become even more important in recent years due to large-scale international investments into agricultural land, which crucially affect local land use systems and increase political and economic pressure towards privatisation. 

The project will combine researchers from Fribourg, Basel (both Switzerland) and Freiburg (Germany). It was developed and will be carried out in close cooperation with local actors in Namibia: the Department of Land Management at the Polytechnic of Namibia, the Ministry of Lands and Resettlement and the GIZ charged with technical consultation on and implementation of the land registration process. 


Direktlink auf Lay Summary Letzte Aktualisierung: 21.02.2013

Verantw. Gesuchsteller/in und weitere Gesuchstellende

Mitarbeitende

Publikationen

Publikation
Namibia – eine weitreichende Landfrage. Traditionelle Autoritäten verlieren an Macht.
Weidmann Laura, Nghitevelekwa Romie (2013), Namibia – eine weitreichende Landfrage. Traditionelle Autoritäten verlieren an Macht., in Afrika Bulletin, 151, 8-9.
Landreform für Namibias Gemeinschaftsland (Communal Areas)
Bloemertz Lena, Dobler Gregor, Graefe Olivier (2012), Landreform für Namibias Gemeinschaftsland (Communal Areas), in Regio Basiliensis , 53(1&2), 95-100.

Zusammenarbeit

Gruppe / Person Land
Formen der Zusammenarbeit
Namibian University of Science and Technology Namibia (Afrika)
- vertiefter/weiterführender Austausch von Ansätzen, Methoden oder Resultaten
- Publikation
- Forschungsinfrastrukturen
- Austausch von Mitarbeitern

Wissenschaftliche Veranstaltungen

Aktiver Beitrag

Titel Art des Beitrags Titel des Artikels oder Beitrages Datum Ort Beteiligte Personen
World Interdisciplinary Network for Institutional Research: Symposium for Property Rights Vortrag im Rahmen einer Tagung The role of traditional authorities in the debate on communal land titling and governance 14.04.2016 Bristol, Grossbritannien und Nordirland Weidmann Laura;
Indigenous Social Security Workshop Vortrag im Rahmen einer Tagung Indigenous Social Security Systems in postcolonial Namibia: a basis of legitimacy for Traditional Authorities 08.03.2016 Johannesburg, Südafrika (Republik) Weidmann Laura;
Use of Soil Indigenous Knowledge in Western Ohangwena Region Vortrag im Rahmen einer Tagung Communal Land Matters in Namibia 27.01.2016 Windhoek, Namibia Prudat Brice;
Communal Land Matters in Namibia Vortrag im Rahmen einer Tagung Traditional Authorities in Namibia’s land governance. Challenges and strategies 27.01.2016 Windhoek, Namibia Weidmann Laura;
Deutscher Kongress für Geographie Vortrag im Rahmen einer Tagung Namibias Traditionelle Autoritäten zwischen lokalen Paradigmen und dezentralisierter Landverwaltung 03.10.2015 Berlin, Deutschland Weidmann Laura;
ECAS European Conference for African Studies Vortrag im Rahmen einer Tagung Negotiating boundaries. Authority struggles between state territory and customary spaces 09.07.2015 Paris, Frankreich Weidmann Laura;
ECAS European Conference for African Studies Vortrag im Rahmen einer Tagung Urbanization of the peripheries and the development of the land market in communal areas. Transformations in North Central Namibia 09.07.2015 Paris, Frankreich Graefe Olivier; Bloemertz Lena;
EGU Conference Poster Northern Namibia´s Ehenge: marginal soil with high water use efficiency 15.04.2015 Wien, Oesterreich Prudat Brice;
EGu Conference Vortrag im Rahmen einer Tagung Soil water dynamic studies from two Arenosols of North-Central Namibia 14.04.2015 Wien, Oesterreich Kuhn Nikolaus J.; Prudat Brice;
Swiss Geoscience Meeting Vortrag im Rahmen einer Tagung Communal Land Reform in North-Central Namibia: Traditional Authorities renegotiate their positions within land governance. An analysis of fencing practices. 22.11.2014 Fribourg, Schweiz Graefe Olivier; Weidmann Laura;
Swiss African Research Days Vortrag im Rahmen einer Tagung Communal Land Reform in North-Central Namibia: The strategies of Traditional Authorities to maintain control and power over land 17.10.2014 Bern, Schweiz Weidmann Laura;
Swiss Researching Africa Days Vortrag im Rahmen einer Tagung In some cases ‘it’s my land’, in other cases ‘it is my uncle’s land’ 17.10.2014 Bern, Schweiz Bloemertz Lena;
Swiss African Research Days Vortrag im Rahmen einer Tagung Impact of Fences on resources management in northern Namibia 17.10.2014 Bern, Schweiz Bloemertz Lena; Graefe Olivier; Prudat Brice;
Namibia Research Day Vortrag im Rahmen einer Tagung Implications of Land Registration in North-Central Namibia: Land quality: an ecological assessment 26.09.2014 Basel, Schweiz Bloemertz Lena; Prudat Brice;
Namibian Research Day Vortrag im Rahmen einer Tagung Tradition and Decentralization. Contradicting or subsidiary concepts towards successful land governance? 26.09.2014 Basel, Schweiz Weidmann Laura;
PhD Workshop Researching Southern Africa (University of Zurich and Basler Afrika Bibliographien (BAB) Vortrag im Rahmen einer Tagung Archives and Sources for a research project on land relations and property rights in north-central Namibia 28.07.2014 Basel, Schweiz Dobler Gregor;
EGU Conference Poster Indigenous vs. International Soil Classification System in Ohangwena Region, Namibia.” 19.04.2014 Wien, Oesterreich Kuhn Nikolaus J.; Bloemertz Lena; Prudat Brice;
VHS Basel Einzelvortrag Namibias Postkoloniale Eliten 30.01.2014 BAsel, Schweiz Dobler Gregor;
Communal Land Reform in Namibia Vortrag im Rahmen einer Tagung Filling the Gaps: Strategies and Power Plays in the Process of translating the CLRA into Local Realities 29.01.2014 Windhoek, Namibia Weidmann Laura;
Communal Land Reform in Namibia Vortrag im Rahmen einer Tagung Perspective on Soil Fertility in Ohangwena Region 29.01.2014 Windhoek, Namibia Kuhn Nikolaus J.; Prudat Brice;
Swiss Geomorphology Society Meeting Poster Soil Water Measurements in Salty Sandy Soils in Ohangwena Region, Namibia. 26.06.2013 Basel, Schweiz Bloemertz Lena; Prudat Brice; Kuhn Nikolaus J.;
Séminaire État, sociétés et problèmes sociaux en Afrique australe, EHESS Vortrag im Rahmen einer Tagung Land reform in communal areas : poverty reduction through individuation of land tenure ? 29.05.2013 Paris, Frankreich Graefe Olivier;
Land Divided Vortrag im Rahmen einer Tagung Land in Northern Namibia, 1884-2013 26.03.2013 Cape Town, Südafrika (Republik) Dobler Gregor;
Land Divided Conference Vortrag im Rahmen einer Tagung From Struggles over Town Land Control to Communal Land Reform (in North-Central Namibia) 25.03.2013 Cape Town, Südafrika (Republik) Weidmann Laura; Graefe Olivier;


Selber organisiert

Titel Datum Ort
Communal Land Matters in Namibia 27.01.2016 Windhoek, Namibia
Namibian Research Day 26.09.2014 Basel, Schweiz
Communal land reform in Namibia 29.01.2014 Windhoek, Namibia

Kommunikation mit der Öffentlichkeit

Kommunikation Titel Medien Ort Jahr
Weitere Aktivitäten Identifying, streamlining and harmonizing existing land rights and access arrangements (MLR) International 2015

Verbundene Projekte

Nummer Titel Start Förderungsinstrument
168435 Traditional Authorities in Namibia’s land governance. Seeking legitimacy among legal and practical transformations 01.06.2016 Doc.Mobility

Abstract

At its independence in 1990, Namibia inherited a twofold land rights system based in the colonial separation of ‘indigenous’ and ‘settler’ areas. In communal areas, where the major part of the population lives, there are no free-hold titles, but use rights are assigned to households by Traditional Authorities. In 2002, the Communal Land Re-form Act laid the basis for formalization and state registration of communal land rights; a process that is on-going and far from complete. Its aim is to make land tenure more secure and thus to increase the likelihood of tenants investing in the land; some see it as a precursor of a fully-fledged privatisation of communal lands. The consequences of land registration are controversially discussed in Namibia and are likely to provide important lessons for land registration elsewhere. Until now, however, no research is done to understand the local preconditions and consequences of land registration and the social and ecological dynamics linked to it. In close cooperation with the donor agencies financing the process and the Namibian authorities charged with implementing land rights registration, the proposed research project will accompany the registration process and provide a holistic image of its social and ecological consequences. The project’s main aim is to assess whether more secure land titles can indeed protect land rights of the rural poor and simultaneously further sustainable agricultural development, as claimed by Namibian political actors, and what main factors are determining the likelihood of such an outcome.The interdisciplinary research project will combine methods from social anthropology, as well as social and physical geography. In a pre-defined transect combining town lands, peri-urban areas, fields and rangelands, it will analyse the history of different land rights prior and in the run-up to communal land registration, will accompany the registration process itself and assess post-registration land conflicts. The resulting in-depth image of land uses will be combined with an analysis of soil quality in selected plots to create a baseline and the conceptual and practical tools for an ecological impact analysis. In order to integrate results from different research methods, a landscape change perspective will be used and the consequences of the transition between land rights regimes for landscape change and for social equity will be assessed.The project will be highly important for the on-going theoretical discussions about ownership and sustainable land use, which link up to larger questions about pro-poor policies. It is very relevant for land policies in Namibia and beyond, offering a model case for the complex issues surrounding formalisation and privatisation of land use. All over Africa, these issues have become even more important in recent years due to large-scale international in-vestments into agricultural land, which crucially affect local land use systems and increase political and economic pressure towards privatisation.The project, mainly consisting of 3 PhD candidates, one 30%Post-Doc position and some Master theses, will combine researchers from Fribourg, Basel (both Switzerland) and Freiburg (Germany). It was developed and will be carried out in close cooperation with local actors in Namibia: the Department of Land Management at the Polytechnic of Namibia, the Ministry of Lands and Resettlement and the GIZ charged with technical consultation on and implementation of the land registration process. At least one, probably two of the PhD candidates and several Master candidates will be Namibian.
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