Securing the land rights of our partner communities in Senegal through public-private partnerships

Last week, Oumar Mamadou Balde, the Governor of Tambacounda (a region in Senegal), came to Bakel for a two-day visit of Hommes et Terre Senegal.

The mission, which was centered around the validation of local communities’ land rights on their restored lands, consisted of a visit of two of our partner villages and their lands that are in the process of being restored, as well as a public consultation to hear the experiences of our partner communities about their partnership with Hommes et Terre.

We are happy to announce that, reassured by the many positive testimonies, the governor promised to approve securing the land rights of our partner communities for the restoration of their lands. This means that 22 of our partner villages will now be the official owners of a total of more than 4500 hectares of soon-to-be restored land. An important milestone, and quite a unique one at that. Because today, rural communities rarely have formal rights to their own lands, which are mostly owned by the government.

Yet, securing their land rights is crucial for successful long-term ecosystem restoration. When local communities have secure land rights, this promotes a sense of ownership and encourages them to get involved and take responsibility for their land and its resources. Since ecosystem restoration also requires long-term commitments, secure land rights provide the stability and security needed to make these commitments.

In the coming years, we plan to restore at least 20.000 hectares of degraded land in the region of Tambacounda. We commit to securing the land rights of every single square meter of these 20.000 hectares for our partner communities and are grateful to have found a passionate partner in the governor, who will help us to make this possible. This also shows once again the importance of strong public-private partnerships.

Many thanks to the governor of Tambacounda and our amazing team in Senegal for making this happen. We look forward to keep working together to give local communities the land rights they deserve!

Watch a little recap of the governors visit here: