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Toward a land policy in the Democratic Republic of Congo: National validation workshop, Kinshasa 15-17 November 2021

Minister of Land Affairs Aimé Sakombi Molendo and customary chiefs at the workshop
Minister of Land Affairs Aimé Sakombi Molendo and customary chiefs at the workshop

A national validation workshop discussed the draft National Land Policy Document of the Democratic Republic of the Congo in Kinshasa on 15–17 November 2021.

The workshop was part of a process that began in November 2018 at the Bukavu interprovincial forum to formulate a new national land policy. The Bukavu forum identified strategic options that were turned into a draft policy document in December 2018. This first draft was submitted to a series of consultations in all 26 provinces in the country with a wide range of stakeholders.

Participants debating how to improve the National Land Policy Document
Participants debating how to improve the National Land Policy Document

These consultations resulted in a second draft in 2021, which has been reviewed by the National Land Reform Commission (CONAREF), international consultants and civil society organizations. The revised second draft was the subject of the Kinshasa national validation workshop. This workshop gathered final contributions to the National Land Policy Document.

The workshop was launched by Aimé Sakombi Molendo, Minister of Land Affairs. The more than 300 participants included national and international representatives, provincial and local entities, private sector, and civil society organizations. Traditional authorities from different communities, women, persons with disabilities, and indigenous (“Pygmy”) groups were represented.

The event was facilitated by UN-Habitat under the leadership of the Ministry of Land Affairs through CONAREF with the financial support from the National REDD+ Fund (FONAREDD), funded by the Central Africa Forest Initiative (CAFI).

The validation enabled CONAREF to engage with stakeholders on the final aspects of the land policy document and show how their comments and inputs were integrated into the second draft.

The workshop also discussed the five strategic pillars of the policy:

  • Improvement of land tenure system
  • Strengthening capacities of land administration, decentralized entities and intersectoral coordination
  • Social safeguarding of land governance
  • Attractiveness and productivity of land
  • Environment protection and sustainability.

After the workshop, CONAREF experts will recheck the document and submit It to the CONAREF steering committee for approval, before being adopted by the national government.

This validation is a milestone for advancing good land governance and secure land rights for all Congolese. It is especially important for local communities and indigenous peoples. The policy will help guide social, environmental and economic investments.

The next steps are to develop an implementation plan for the land policy and to prepare a new land law that reflects the policy decisions. UN-Habitat and GLTN, along with other partners, will provide institutional and technical support for this.