Agriculture, which is the critical element of economic growth and food security of the country, relies on sustainable management of land and water. The country, however, is experiencing low and declining agricultural productivity, persistent food insecurity, and rural poverty largely attributed to land degradation. Studies have shown that by the mid-1980s, some 27 million hectares (ha) or almost
50 percent of the Ethiopian highlands, which makes up about 45 percent of the total land area, were considered to be significantly eroded, of this 14 million ha was seriously eroded and over 2 million ha beyond reclamation. It is estimated that some 30,000 ha are lost annually as a result of soil erosion, representing over 1.5 billion tons of soil removed annually by a variety of land degradation processes.
With the geo-climatic condition, inherent soil fragility, undulating terrain, and highly erosive rainfall, Ethiopia has continually faced challenges in conserving its soil fertility. Coupled with these natural constraints, the environmentally destructive farming methods that many farmers practice make the country highly vulnerable to soil erosion. Moreover, some sources estimate that close to one-third of the agricultural land is moderately to strongly acidic because of long neglect in soil conservation and destructive farming practices. Gully formation and sedimentation at the river banks, dams and irrigation channels are extensive.
Sustainable Land Management Projects 1 and 2 (SLMP-I and SLMP-II) have made remarkable progress in rehabilitating targeted degraded areas, soil stabilization works (by raising and planting Vetiver and Desho grasses), construction of cut-off drains and waterways to reduce run-off.Animal manuring and production and application of compost on farmlands and homesteads, demarcating enclosures to allow natural regeneration to occur, rotational grazing, individual woodlots, etc. The introduction of various homestead improvements and income generating activities, including bee keeping and honey production using modern beehives, livestock fattening, supply of better breeds of small ruminants and poultry, mixed cropping on the same piece of land. Small-scale irrigation, water harvesting structures and the supply of drinking water for both human and animal (e.g., hand-dug wells, springs) consumption have contributed towards improvement of income and building assets at household level.
In addition practices such as (i) the introduction of agro-forestry practices and improved fodder management systems; (ii) adoption of conservation agriculture technologies such as low/no-tillage agricultural practices; (iii) adoption of soil fertility improvement techniques through incorporation of nitrogen-fixing leguminous plant species and use of organic manure into agricultural systems; (iv) Adoption of Bamboo development practices; (v) introducing improved practices for grazing through rotational grazing, cut-and-carry and animal fattening systems; and (vi) livelihood activities such as improved poultry production, vegetable production and apiculture are being widely practiced. Moreover, the project has undertaken institutional strengthening for implementing sustainable land management at regional, woreda and community levels and actively promoted homestead and cultivated land activities. In a nutshell, the overall performance of SLMP-I and SLMP-II is extremely encouraging, which justifies not only the continuation of the project, but also its expansion. Therefore, the proposed Resilient Landscape and Livelihood project (RLLP) will expand the scope of the success from SLMP-I and SLMP-II and also introduces measures to internalize climate change induced risks so that the investments that farmers make will integrate climatic variability. RLLP has four components, namely (1) Investment in green infrastructure for resilient watersheds, (2) Strengthening Institutions and Information: and information modernization, (3) Land administration and use, and (4) Project Management and Monitoring. It will be implemented in six regional states, namely Southern Nations, Nationalities and peoples (SNNP), Amhara, Oromia, Gambella, Benshangul Gumuz, and Tigray and in 192 woredas within these regions where the environment is fragile, partly because of natural and human factors. Planning and Implementation of the project will be guided by Community Based Participatory Watershed Development Guideline (CBPWG) where activities are identified by the communities based on their local needs and priorities through a participatory watershed planning process whereby all community members have the opportunity for sharing ideas and making decisions. When the sub-projects implementation in component one requires involuntary land acquisition and loss of access to assets to avoid such cases other alternative measures like changing design or location of the sub project will be implemented. However, where avoidance is not viable, implementation of these activities might result in some land acquisition, property loss and access restriction and in such cases OP/BP 4.12 will be triggered. This RPF is prepared, based on the World Bank Operational Policy (OP/BP 4.12) and the relevant national laws and regulations, to guide the implementation of mitigation measures and to ensure compensation and resettlement for project affected persons (PAP) whenever activities need to acquire land and restrict access.
Therefore, it is unlikely that involuntary land acquisition and loss of access will occur. Though all sub-projects are planned and implemented based on decisions made by the communities, involuntary resettlement policy OP/BP 4.12 will be triggered. Thus, it is important that a separate Resettlement Policy Framework (RPF) has to be prepared to guide the implementation of mitigation measures related to land acquisition and displacement due to component one of the RLLP activities that would have negative social impacts.
The objectives of this RPF include establishing the principles, procedures and processes to be applied if involuntary resettlement, loss of land and/ or other economic resources, and restriction of access to natural resources may happen. In addition, RPF is needed to ensure that project affected persons (PAP) are meaningfully consulted, participated in the planning process, adequately compensated for to the extent that their pre-displacement income has been restored. Moreover, this RPF includes organizational legal and institutional frameworks underlying Ethiopia’s approach for resettlement, compensation and rehabilitation, eligibility criteria for identification of PAP and institutional arrangements responsible for Resettlement Action Plan (RAP) implementation.
The RPF is prepared using primary and secondary data, and qualitative data collection approach. Field data collection was limited to 29 sample woredas (18 existing and 11 new). In the existing woredas, purposive sampling was used to include those where community infrastructures were constructed while accessibility was used as a criterion to select the sample woredas from the new ones. Focus group discussions were made using semi-structured checklist with male and female community members. Attempts were made to include vulnerable community members like female household heads, people with disabilities, the old, and the poor. Key informants such as Development Agents (DAs), woreda experts from different line offices, SLMP-II woreda focal persons, experts from Regional Bureau of Environment, Forest and climate, and SLMP-II regional environment and social safeguard specialists were also consulted. Among the secondary data, the Ethiopian government laws and regulations related to land expropriation and compensation, World Bank social safeguard policies, SLMP-II social assessment and RPF, as well as other World Bank flagship programs’ safeguard instruments were the major ones.
You can download the full document here. RLLP-RPF-WB-May-21-2018.pdf