October 26, 2022 (KAMPALA, Uganda): The Intergovernmental Authority on Development (IGAD) in collaboration with the International Development Law Organization (IDLO), Supporting Pastoralism & Agriculture in Recurrent and Protracted Crises (SPARC), and International Land Coalition (ILC), today concluded the conference on the link between land and conflict in the IGAD region.
The Conference was officially launched by the Vice President of the Republic of Uganda, H.E Jessica Alupo, together with the Chief Justice of Uganda, Hon. Alfonse Chigamoy Owiny-Dollo, the Minister of Lands, Housing and Urban Development of Uganda, Hon. Judith Nabakooba, IGAD Member Countries Chiefs of Justice, and IGAD Head of Mission to Uganda, Ms. Lucy Daxbacher.
In her opening remarks, the Vice President stated: “With the rise in the population and need for land for investment, it’s essential to undertake proper land use planning, across the region, to manage this essential resource effectively. It remains crucial to us in the region to devise measures towards reducing land conflict and improve on securing land rights so as to spur sustainable development, she added”
Speaking on behalf of IGAD Executive Secretary, Ms. Daxbacher noted: “Our regional conflict data by IGAD’s Conflict Early Warning and Response Mechanism in 2021 concluded that, within our region, there is a strong relationship between the quality of land & the incidence of conflict. The study found that the nexus between climate-change, conflict and violence is such that a 10% improvement in vegetation reduces the chances of armed conflict by 21% & human deaths by 17.3%. IGAD therefore welcomes this kind of multi-stakeholder, multiagency engagement that seeks to deeply examine and address natural resource-based conflicts and re-orient our thinking about land as an instrument of regional integration which we can use to build a strong and solid foundation for peace, security and prosperity.”
The three-day conference covered a number of themes and matters including:
- Prioritisation and promotion of responsible, conflict-sensitive and inclusive land and natural resource governance and improving access to justice for all;
- Making the link between the fair and sustainable allocation and use land and natural resources and peace and security in the East and Horn of Africa;
- Securing local land rights to support climate change adaptation and sustainable food systems; and
- Realisation of women’s and girls’ rights to land.
The Conference will be followed by a Ministerial meeting slated for October 28. The meeting will be attended by Ministers responsible for Lands, Ministers responsible for Environment and Ministers responsible for Justice from the IGAD Member States, to endorse the IGAD Agenda for action on Land use and Management transformation and Conflict Management, which will inform Member States and IGAD regional programming for the next ten years.
The meeting was held with the financial support from Swedish Embassy in Addis Ababa and Swiss Agency for Development and Cooperation (SDC).