Group 2: Land Tenure, Ownership and Resettlement

Desired Outcome

The main goal of the Land Tenure, Ownership and Resettlement group is to strengthen the land tenure and compensation process in order to ensure that (where feasible) impacts to communities do not result in loss of income, livelihoods, land (without adequate compensation) and rights, and to mitigate any unavoidable impacts.

  • Registration of land rights through systematic demarcation by mapping and survey, registration and titling 
  • Land use planning and management (zoning)
  • Physical planning
  • Creation of awareness and sensitization
  • Legal framework for land ownership and customary norms
  • Resettlement and livelihood beyond cash compensation  


Policy Gap Analysis for Land Tenure and Compensation

Uganda’s laws and policies do not provide any incentive to the private landowners to ensure that when they carry out developments on their land, they ensure NNL/NG. This is worsened by the land tenure systems. The land tenure systems provided for in Uganda’s land laws are not conducive for undertaking NNL/NG measures. The customary tenure is not a settled tenure. Land held under customary tenure can be converted to freehold. Mailo land tenure creates a system of double rights over the same piece of land. It permits the separation of ownership of land from ownership of developments on land made by a lawful and bona fide occupant. Under this kind of tenure, applying the mitigation hierarchy including offsets is difficult, because of the uncertainty of tenure.

Policy Actions for Land Tenure and Compensation

Copyright © Kina Murphy
  1. The land, environmental and physical planning laws should establish an incentive system for private land owners to ensure NNL/NG with respect to development on their land. This incentive system should also encourage the private land owners to create conservation gains on their land.
  2. The land tenure system provided for in the Land Act (1998) should be restructured so that it is more conducive to NNL/NG measures.  Section 3 of the  Land Act 1998 recognizes the four forms of land tenure  in Uganda i.e., customary, leasehold, freehold, and Mailo. Customary tenure is not a settled tenure, and yet it covers over 70% of the land area in the country
  3. Proper compensation guidelines need to be created and developers need to be required to follow them.
  4. A system needs to be put in place for systematic land demarcation and titling.
  5. Physical and land-use plans need to be developed that clearly indicate resettlement areas and ensure like-for-like compensation. This can be done by streamlining the development of the land-use per the Physical Planning Act, 2010.
  6. A system needs to be put in place for dealing with conflict resolution and land ownership claims.
  7. Resettlement and compensation claims need to be expedited.
  8. Gender equity guidelines need to be developed.

Multi-Sectoral Actions—NGOs and development partners should provide the following support to government:

  1. Promote integrated mixed farming
  2. Create enterprise development and alternative sustainable livelihood (i.e. Integrated Conservation Farming) programs
  3. Create a system that allows private landowners to lease their land to oil companies, and that provides for land restoration when the lease period is complete
  4. Affirmative action of host community participation
  5. Deliberate efforts by government should be made to prepare communities to provide goods and services to companies (e.g. train, equip and organize host communities into cooperatives in order to create required standards for the value chain for prequalification on the supplier data base) 
  6. Conservation and restoration (such as re-greening) should be conducted after settlement
  7. Resettlement should not encroach on fragile eco-systems 
  8. Address human/wildlife conflict issues 
  9. Understand how to bring issues to Parliament 

Next Steps

  1. Include CSOs and communities in technical monitoring, and publicize results
  2. Review land tenure, resettlement and compensation legislation
  3. Prioritize capacity building for communities
  4. Increase public awareness about conservation and land tenure rights
  5. Address human/wildlife conflict needs and expand programs