Thursday, 11 October 2007

A statement on Zambia's draft land policy...

The 5th National Development Plan had this to say...
It is noted that a significant cause of environmental degradation has been inadequate institutions, particularly ill-
defined property rights. This is also due to the fact that much of the land in Zambia is under traditional tenure or
‘open areas’ and administered by traditional rulers. Under the various traditional arrangements, the tenure
regimes have no clearly defined property rights since the community usually has open access to natural
resources. The dynamics of open access are the basis of the ‘tragedy of the commons’. For many years, there has
been no national land-use planning framework to specify how land should be allocated for various purposes and
what land should be reserved for different future uses at the national, provincial, and district levels.

The 1995 Lands Policy and Act are aimed at ensuring that all Zambians are afforded the same opportunity and
encouraged to access and own land under leasehold title in customary land areas. This move is seen to be
progressive in as far as putting in place a system of security of land tenure is concerned, which provides some
incentives for sound environmental protection. Progress to date has, however, been very limited on this issue.
There has also been limited private sector investment in the Natural Resources Sector in the past to stimulate
growth and development. Indigenous people and local entrepreneurs have also not, as a whole, been much
involved in investment in the Sector. Moreover, efficient and effective information management systems are key
to modern day natural resource management (NRM). Currently, the Sector lacks systematic and comprehensive
information management systems to effectively support decision-making and operations and facilitate
information dissemination. As consequence, it has been difficult to establish any credible trends in the status of
Zambia’s natural resources.

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