Kinshasa, 13 October 2017 – UN-Habitat in close collaboration the Ministry of Land Affairs through the National Commission on land reform (CONAREF) recently organised a national workshop in Kinshasa on the “elaboration of provincial strategies for improving land governance in the Democratic Republic of Congo”.

The two-day national consultative workshop is one out the outputs of the Community Participatory Land Use Planning project implemented by UN-Habitat in three provinces of the Republic of Congo, namely North Kivu, South Kivu and Ituri.

The project, funded by the people of the United Kingdom through the Department for International Development, DFID, aims at contributing to improve land governance for peace and stability by setting-up an environment conducive to both economic and social recovery in DRC. The specific objective is to reduce land disputes in selected conflict affected zones through an integrated approach of land use planning and management based on both participation and ownership of a variety of stakeholders and institutional key actors.

The workshop was opened by Deputy Chief of Cabinet of the Ministry of Land Affairs in the presence of the Deputy Chief of Cabinet of the Ministry of  Regional Planning and Towns Renovation, and the Representative of the Regional Office of Africa of UN-Habitat.

Potential for behavior change

The technical meeting was attended by about 80 participants from State house, the national Ministries of Lands, Regional planning, Mining, Environment, Local Government, representatives of provincial Ministries of Lands Affairs and regional Planning, representatives of DFID, UN agencies, Academia, NGO, civil society and local communities.

In their respective speeches, the representatives of the Ministry of Land Affairs, the Ministry of Regional Planning and Town Renovation and UN-Habitat highlighted the importance and contribution of the Community Participatory Land Use Planning (CPLUP) to the ongoing Land reform and the Regional planning processes. They stressed the good cooperation and relationship between the Government of DRC and UN-Habitat and the added value of UN-Habitat work for peace and stability in DRC.

Three main documents prepared at the provincial level (North Kivu, South Kivu, Ituri) in a participatory manner were discussed during the workshop in order to get inputs from stakeholders: (1): Diagnostic of the Legal and Institutional framework in the three provinces; (2) Conceptual Framework of Regional Planning at provincial level and (3) Local Mutual Charter of Cooperation between the Land Affairs Administration, the local Communities and others stakeholders for effective land governance in pilot sites of the project.

The outcomes at the end of the workshop were: (i) a shared understanding of participatory land use planning process and its potential for behavior change at all territorial levels; (ii) synthesis of the three documents reviewed with contributions from stakeholders; (iii) recommendations and way forward for the finalization of the documents to the be submitted to a national validation workshop to take place in November 2017.