Building resilience through joint village land use planning in Tanzania


Photo: A Maasai pastoralist taking water from the Olkitikiti Dam, in Olkitikiti village, Kiteto, Tanzania - one of four villages forming part of the OLENGAPA shared grazing area.  Credit: ILRI / Fiona Flintan

Outcome Overview

The lack of land tenure security is a structural cause of food insecurity in Tanzania, particularly among pastoralists and agro-pastoralists. In recent years, there has been an increasing number of conflicts between these groups and other land users, many turning violent and threatening local development.

Land tenure security for pastoralist communities can be improved through village land use planning and land certification. The process provides opportunities for bringing different stakeholders together to discuss, negotiate, and agree on land use and to resolve related conflicts. In situations where villages share resources such as grazing areas and water, joint village land use planning and the provision of group certificates can be more appropriate than individual village land use planning and individual certificates.

In December 2015, the International Livestock Research Institute (ILRI) and the Ministry of Agriculture, Livestock and Fisheries of Tanzania[1] signed a collaborative research agreement to jointly implement the third phase of the Sustainable Rangeland Management Project, which works with national and local authorities to secure land rights of local rangeland users through implementation of joint village land use planning and land certification. During the Project’s previous phases, joint village planning was successfully piloted across three villages: Orkitikiti, Lerug, and Ngapapa. This process led to the protection of a shared grazing area of 12,000 hectares, called OLENGAPA to incorporate a part of each of the three villages’ names. In November 2017, a fourth village joined OLENGAPA, expanding the shared area to 30,000 hectares. The OLENGAPA Livestock Keepers Association was established and provided with group certificates of customary rights of occupancy. In a meeting held in 2018, the now Minister of Livestock and Fisheries described this process as “very inspiring” and expressed interest in scaling up the methodology. In parallel, another larger area benefited from the innovative approach: ALOLLE encompasses over 95,000 hectares of grazing land shared by the Amei, Lembapuli, Lesoit, and Loolera villages. Its joint village land use planning agreement was signed on September 7, 2018. Community members anticipate that this agreement will bring peace to their villages. The securing of grazing lands across three additional clusters of villages is close to finalization. Plans are underway to develop rangeland management plans through participatory rangeland management (PRM) to improve productivity in OLENGAPA and ALOLLE. Joint village land use planning has been integrated in the government’s manual of Tools and Spatial Technologies for Village Land Use Planning 2018, the National Land Use Framework 2013-2033, and the next edition of the National Land Use Planning Commission’s Guidelines for Village Land Use Planning.

The Sustainable Rangeland Management Project is funded by the International Fund for Agricultural Development (IFAD) and Irish Aid and implemented through the International Land Coalition National Engagement Strategy process in Tanzania, which involves ILRI, the Ministry of Livestock and Fisheries, the National Land Use Planning Commission, and local NGOs with support from the CGIAR Research Programs on Policies, Institutions, and Markets (PIM) and Livestock.

[1] The ministry was split into two similar ministries in October 2017:  Ministry of Agriculture and Ministry of Livestock and Fisheries.

This work was undertaken as part of the CGIAR Research Program on Policies, Institutions, and Markets (PIM) under Flagship 5: Governance of Natural Resources.

This story is part of the PIM 2018 Outcomes collection. For more information about our work in 2018, see PIM Achievements in 2018: Highlights and Annual report 2018: CGIAR Research Program on Policies, Institutions, and Markets (PIM).

Key Partners

International Livestock Research Institute (ILRI); International Fund for Agricultural Development (IFAD); International Land Coalition; Irish Aid; Livestock CGIAR Research Program; Ministry of Livestock and Fisheries of Tanzania; National Land Use Planning Commission (Tanzania).



Research Area

Governance of Natural Resources

Geographic Focus


Corresponding Researchers

Fiona Flintan (ILRI)



Innovations to help secure pastoral land tenure and governance (PIM Webinar with Fiona Flintan)







Also read:

Joint village land use planning for the resolution of conflicts in Tanzania (at IFAD Social Reporting Blog – by Fiona Flintan)