This Rural Land Use and Administration Policy of the Afar National Regional State seeks to provide an answer to the following problems: The traditional land administration and use system is not in line with the formal government land administration and use system. Furthermore, the traditional system has been emphasized over the formal system and this situation has created hindrance to investment and tourism activities in the region; the existence of conflict between land use for farming activities; and grazing activities and protection of wildlife; the weakening of the traditional land use and administration system has brought about uncontrolled grazing that in turn brought about land degradation; and spread of animal diseases; the previously prepared land use plan prepared was been supported by policy and legislation to fully implement it. The Policy sets out principles (including guaranteeing the right of pastoralists and/or agro pastoralists to free access and use land and equal land use rights of women), goals (the main goal of this policy is ensure the reliable and sustainable use and protection of the land and land related natural resources in the region through implementing a system of land administration in order to contribute to the improvement of the life of the people of the region) and objectives (including ensuring the land use rights and obligations of pastoralists, agro pastoralists, investors, and other users). Declared policies include: the right to ownership of rural lands is vested in the state and the people; every pastoralist or agro-pastoralist in the Region who intends to be engaged in animal husbandry and/or farming and who is 18 years of age and above, has the right to free access to land; a rural land holder who has user rights shall have the right to transfer and bequeath his holding rights to others; the regional government or any other person who has rural land use rights shall have the right to transfer his land holdings by lease; women shall have equal right with men to access, use, and transfer, administer and control lands; every land holder shall have security of tenure over the land under his possession; maximum size of holdings shall be determined by the competent authority; grazing and farm land holdings could be redistributed based on studies if necessary; land holdings shall be surveyed and registered according to their use; every land holder who is using lands has the duty to protect, conserve, and control his holding in order to prevent the causes of land degradation and that make the land unproductive; Protected areas such as national parks, riverside forest areas, and places where hunting is restricted with their natural resources shall be protected in order to preserve the eco-system; suitable settlement areas around riversides shall be identified and essential infrastructures will be established in order to enable pastoralists to voluntarily settle and practice irrigation agriculture. The Policy also deals with settlement of land conflicts.
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