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Draft land administration and management policy

Ministry of Lands
Government of Zambia

October 2006

SARPN acknowledges the Zambia Ministry of Lands as the source of this document:
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  1. Land is the most fundamental resource in any society because it is the basis of human survival. Land is the space upon which all human activities take place and provides continued existence of all life forms and minerals. Land performs basic and fundamental functions that support human and other terrestrial systems such as to produce food, fibre, fuel, water or other biotic materials for human use; provide biological habitats for plants, animals and micro-organisms; regulate the storage and flow of surface and ground water; provide physical space for settlements, industry and recreation; store and protect evidence for historic or pre-historic record (fossils etc.) and enable movement of animals, plants and people from one area to another.

  2. In Zambia, land has since time immemorial been held under customary tenure, while the coming of European settlers saw the introduction of freehold and leasehold tenure systems. Under the current system of tenure, customary land is estimated to be 94 percent and state land is estimated at 6 percent of the total land area of the country whose area is 752,614 square kilometres. Under these two (2) categories there is reserve land which is allocated to nature, forest, and wildlife sanctuaries. Land under forest account for 9% of the total landmass of the country or approximately 67,680 square kilometres. Land for National parks accounts for about 8% or approximately 60,160 square kilometres and Game Management Areas about 22% or approximately 165,440 square kilometres. However, population increases and migration has created localised pressure for land and problems of access and equity. Lack of a land policy framework makes it difficult to address these problems.

  3. This policy has taken a holistic approach to land because land is the basis of other public natural resources use interventions due to its multiple use as a resource. Land is not only required for agriculture, for forest and wildlife conservation, but also contains water and minerals. Therefore, the policy on land has to bridge with other sector policies through clearer land tenure arrangements. This policy spells out actions for enhancing administration and use of land, initiatives for revenue generation, decentralisation and empowerment of rural and urban communities while addressing the challenges posed by social inequalities; poverty, gender and disability.

  4. The policy is organised as follows. Following the discussion of historical precedents, the present situation is presented as a backdrop to the statement of policy guidelines and recommended actions. The situational analysis presents the current issues and problems of land administration, land delivery and the existing institutional and legal context. The policy covers land administration, land management and information, the legal and institutional reform proposals and actions required to achieve desired ends. The Policy also contains the implementation measures for monitoring and evaluation mechanisms.

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