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Since 2009, UN-Habitat has been implementing a land program in the Eastern Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC) under the International Support Strategy for Security and Stability (ISSS). The main goal of the Program is to prevent and mitigate land disputes and conflicts in return areas. The Program operates in a context characterised by weak State institutions (judiciary, administrative, political), protracted conflicts and a challenging security environment. As a result, Eastern DR Congo continues to experience severe competition over land and related resources.Fertile lands and vast mineral deposits remain some of the key drivers of conflict.

How land issues in this context are handled is critical in achieving peace and stability. UN-Habitat's innovative approach to deal with land disputes in Eastern DR Congo is therefore based on a systematic approach developed within the agency's Risk Reduction and Land and GLTN Units.

For instance, two Community Land Mediation Centers have been established in two hot spots in Eastern DR Congo allows affected community members to present their land claims, while exposing themselves to advice and information on land issues. Mediation activities have proven to be effective means for alternative dispute resolutions and mechanisms for securing community land rights given the prevailing customary tenure regime and in the absence of a land use plan and cadastral system..

The program has four major areas of interventions:

  • Land mediation
  • Land coordination
  • Support to the land administration
  • Support to land policy and reform

Earlier gains of the program

Addressing tenure security in post-conflict setting such as Eastern DR Congo is critical for achieving economic and social recovery. Since the start of the program, there have been indications that the outcomes of land mediation activities are clearing the path for economic recovery, improved livelihoods and peace and stability. Moreover, early impact on individuals and communities can be felt within the communities. It is the presence of such gains that continue to stamp UN-Habitat as the leading agency on land issues in DR Congo. Moving forward, the Program is stepping up its effort, particularly in supporting the ongoing land policy reform both at national and provincial levels.

Next steps

Starting 2013, the second phase of the Program will work towards

  • Consolidating the gains and expanding its scope with particular attention to supporting land reform process in DRC
  • Bridging the gap between rural and urban land issues;
  • Ensuring the sustainability of the approach and Program in a volatile environment; and
  • Linking the program with the regional dimension of land tenure, especially the Great Lake region

Funding and supporting partners

The program is funded and supported by:

  1. United States Agency for International Development -USAID
  2. United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees - UNHCR
  3. Government of Canada
  4. Government of the Democratic Republic of Congo - GovDRC
  5. United Nations Peacebuilding Fund - PBF
  6. Global Land Tool Network - GLTN
  7. United Nations Human Settlements Programme - UN-Habitat

There are 50 staff members including three internationals on this Program

Related Documents:

Related Links:

For more information contact:

Mr. Oumar SYLLA
Chief Technical Advisor: DRC
This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. , This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

Contact Info:

Location: Gigiri, UN Complex
Office: NOF South Wing Block 3
Telephone: +254 207623858
Email: gltn[at]

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