Story | 08 Oct, 2018

Tanzania National Technical Committee on Land Use Planning re-launched and capacitated

The National Technical Committee on Land Use Planning (NTCLUP) was re-launched during a 2.5 day capacity building workshop held on 5th to 7th September, 2018, at Edema Conference, in Morogoro, Tanzania. The Technical Committee is composed of 15 members representing different sectors and drawn from Ministries, Departments and Agencies, and NGOs. It is legally established under the Land Use Planning Act (2007) and is tasked to provide technical advice to the National Land Use Planning Commission (NLUPC) on matters related to land use planning.

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group photo of some members of the National Technical Committee on Land Use Planning

Photo: D. Mazenzele

The workshop to re-launch and build capacity of the NTCLUP was officially opened by the Director General of the National Land Use Planning Commission, Dr. Stephen Nindi.  It was attended by representatives from Vice President’s Office – Division of Environment (VPO – DoE), National Environmental Management Council (NEMC), Ministry for Agriculture, Ministry for Livestock and Fisheries, Ministry for Energy, Ministry for Water, Ministry for Lands and NGOs such as Ujamaa Community Resource Team (UCRT) and Oxfam.

The objectives of the workshop were:

  • To re-launch the National Technical Committee on Land Use Planning
  • To build capacity of the Technical Committee by raising awareness  on the regulatory and institutional framework of land use planning in Tanzania, and on the landscape integrated approach to land use planning
  • To share experiences, lessons learned and recommendations for improving land use planning in Tanzania

The workshop was organized  by the International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN) under the auspices of the “Integrated Planning to Implement the CBD Strategic Plan and Increase Ecosystem Resilience to Climate Change” project which is being implemented by the Environmental Law Center of IUCN , the IUCN Global Protected Area Programme and three IUCN Regional Offices. It is funded by the German Federal Ministry for the Environment, Nature Conservation and Nuclear Safety (BMU).

The overall objective of the project is to increase capacity to optimize planning to support biodiversity and climate change adaptation objectives, including through the effective engagement of protected area systems. The project focuses on integrating climate change and biodiversity concerns into spatial planning frameworks. It works in four districts of Lake Tanganyika ecosystem: Mpanda (subsequently renamed Tanganyika) and Nkasi Districts in Tanzania; and Nsama and Mpulungu Districts in Zambia.

Though supposed to meet more frequently, the Technical Committee has had not convened since 2010, owing to largely to financial constraints and coordination challenges. During the re-launching of the Committee, every Committee member was provided with tools (land use planning legislation, framework plans and guidelines) to aid them in the discharge of their advisory functions. Committee members were walked through matters for consideration by Technical Committee, as stipulated in the Fifth Schedule of the Land Use Planning Act (2007), such as criteria and procedures for the assessment of land quality, minimum land quality requirements for different land uses, guidelines / regulations for the preservation of land requiring special protection, criteria for inter-sectoral consultation and coordination, guidelines for joint decision making by planning agencies and guidelines for monitoring and evaluation of approved plans.

As part of the re-launch, a number of presentations were made aimed at raising awareness about the regulatory and institutional framework for landscape level integrated approaches to land use planning. Key experiences/ lessons and recommendations for better land use planning processes in Tanzania were discussed in detail. The presentation on the Integrated Planning Approach, by Doyi Mazenzele, highlighted key policy and operational challenges limiting the wider application of the approach in Tanzania and globally. Examples of such challenges discussed include conflicting sectoral plans and interests, existence of planning laws that are outdated or weakly enforced, planning horizons too short (e.g. 5 – 10 years) to address long term biodiversity and climate change issues as well as limited access to and use of data, and limited utilization of  tools for integrated planning (e.g. SEA/EIA). The adoption including in the new planned land use policy and promotion of the landscape integrated approach featured as one of the key workshop resolutions.

On experiences, lessons and recommendations on land use planning in Tanzania, a presentation was made by Doyi Mazenzele based on the proceedings of the National Lessons Learning Workshop (organised by the Integrated Planning Project) held in Dar es Salaam on 4th of July this year. The presentation provided participants with an opportunity to understand the context (challenges and opportunities) of land use planning in the country. Key challenges discussed include the costly nature of land use planning in terms of finances and time; inadequate financing; vested interests; weak enforcement of approved plans and also the sub-division of villages and districts with approved plans. There was consensus amongst participants that policy makers at all levels require more sensitization on the importance of land use plans in improving local livelihoods and enhancing biodiversity conservation and climate resilience. This would secure the much needed political will and support critical for unlocking existing barriers to the wide scale development and implementation of land use plans in the country.

Key recommendations provided to strengthen the Technical Committee and to improve the planning process in the country including:

  • Revise the Land Use Planning Act to reflect biodiversity and climate change and to have the integrated planning approach as a core principle to the Act.
  • Revise the list of matters to be deliberated by the National Technical Committee to accommodate current and emerging issues not currently reflected.
  • Clarify the organogram and the frequency of meetings of the Technical Committee   
  • Develop a land use policy as the land policy (old and new) has been anchored on settlements
  • Explore funding mechanisms for sustaining the operations of the Committee.

The Director General of NLUPC informed participants of the plans to review the Land Use Planning Act to incorporate biodiversity and climate change aspects, among others, and to develop the Land Use Policy. The Commission is interested and committed to adopt the landscape integrated land use planning approach in both the Land Use Act and the planned Land Use Policy.