For Ethiopia’s farmers, landscape management and tenure lead to more resilience and income
This blog of the World Bank Group discusses the impact of the Sustainable Land Management Program (SLMP). This is an innovative approach to restoring degraded land, which combines security of tenure for Ethiopia’s farmers with better management of the country’s natural resources. The program organizes the communities that live on degraded land to take part in land restoration by building conservation structures that slow down the flow of water and reduce soil erosion. In doing so, it supports rural infrastructure and opportunities to make a living. Since the government owns all the land, lifetime leases or landholding certificates are used as an incentive to get people to help restore degraded land. The government is also addressing the registration and certification of rural land. Through the second phase of the program (SLMP2: 2013–2019) about 266,000 households have received landholding certificates legally. Under the SLMP2, the community in Endarta woreda agreed to allow the enclosed hillsides of Adi Qilqil to be used for income generation by single mothers and previously landless youth who had organized themselves into associations. These two groups of people were then given legal certificates so that their rights to access communal land were protected. So far, the degraded land shows an increase of 18% in vegetation cover since 2009.