As part of the implementation of the Burundi Landscape Restoration and Resilience Project (PRRPB, in French), the IGNFI/GEOFIT-LADEC consortium held a workshop on July, 27th on access to land and securing the land rights of women and vulnerable groups.
The results of the study conducted by the consortium in the communes of Buhinyuza and Isare during the first half of 2021 were presented. The study outlined the challenges related to the land rights situation for women and other vulnerable groups.
Indeed, as Vital Bambanze, President of UNIPROBA, an organisation that defends and promotes the rights of indigenous people who are assimilated to the Batwa in Burundi, pointed out, land is intrinsically linked to the identity of Burundians. This is why land certification is so important and timely in securing land rights.
During the workshop, the different interventions gave rise to multiple recommendations. Some of them concern the revision of the legal framework, such as the effective implementation of the constitutional provisions relating to the principle of equality, the promulgation of the law on succession, Some of these recommendations relate to the revision of the legal framework, such as the effective implementation of constitutional provisions relating to the principle of equality, the promulgation of the law on inheritance, matrimonial regimes and gifts, and the revitalisation of Decree-Law No. 1/19 of 30 June 1977 abolishing the institution of Ubugererwa, and Decree No. 100/65 of 30 June 1977 on the composition and functioning of the Ubugererwa liquidation commission, in order to definitively abolish Ubugererwa for the Batwa.
Other recommendations concern the general communication and awareness-raising effort that should be made towards women and vulnerable groups to encourage them to register their land holdings and thus secure their rights, and the development of parents who promote the equitable sharing of land between girls and boys.
Finally, recommendations were made specifically for the Batwa, whose land situation is particularly worrying. These recommendations concern, for example, the prior identification of the Batwa during land certification operations, or the adoption of strict administrative measures prohibiting the purchase, sale or transfer of land when it is allocated to the Batwa.
At the end of the workshop, it was recalled that the promotion of the certification of women’s land rights concerns all women regardless of their status: women in legal marriage, women in common-law relationships, single mothers, divorced women, etc. At the end of the PRRBP project, more than 7,000 land certificates (out of the 14,080 expected within the framework of the project) will have to bear the name of a woman.
About the PRRBP project:
Led by the Burundian Ministry of Environment, Agriculture and Livestock, the land sub-component of the PRRBP aims at clarifying and securing land rights as well as resolving land conflicts in the project’s communes and hills of intervention. It is estimated that land disputes constitute more than 70% of the cases brought before the Burundian courts. Securing land tenure and reducing land conflicts is therefore one of the factors favourable to sustainable agricultural and rural development.
The activities of sub-component 2.3 – Land tenure certification are implemented by the IGNFI/GEOFIT-LADEC consortium in the provinces of Bujumbura and Muyinga, in the communes of Isare and Buhinyuza respectively.
About IGN FI and GEOFIT group
IGN FI (www.ignfi.fr), is the double international signature of GEOFIT Group (https://geofit-group.fr), the leading firm of surveyors and IGN France, the French institute of geographic and forestry information (www.ign.fr).
As such, IGN FI exports the various trades related to land and geographic engineering, covering the fields of land registry, the environment, rural development, natural risks, land and resource management and defence.
IGN FI has been involved for 35 years in a wide range of development projects in the fields of land governance, support for land management, rural or urban cadastre, or the design and deployment of land management information systems.
Within the GEOFIT Group (1000 employees – €85M turnover in 2020), IGN FI has 35 permanent employees and numerous collaborators around the world who are integrated into its projects.
Land and Development Expertise center, LADEC in acronym (www.ladec.bi) is a social enterprise under Burundian law. Created in 2017 by Burundian experts, it intervenes in research, capacity building of public and private actors, animation of dialogue frameworks and implementation of projects, in the fields of land management and other natural resources, environment, land use planning and community development. LADEC collaborates with several technical and financial partners, especially with the Swiss Agency for Development and Cooperation.