Sunday, Jun 23, 2024

Sudan - Land Governance Country Profile

Article Index


4. Land Administration and Institutions

There are several institutions that are responsible for land governance in Sudan.

4.1 The Ministry of Environment and Physical Development

The MEFPD was established in 2003 with a mandate covering surveying, construction, urban planning and, more recently, environment, which is derived from the Environmental Protection Act (EPA) of 2001.

4.2 The Higher Council for Environment and Natural Resources (HCENR)

The HCENR is a technical advisory and coordinating body under the Ministry of Environment and Physical Development. It is mandated to assume the role of coordination between the various concerned government agencies and between national and state government on efforts related to the environment and natural resource management. It is concerned with policies, legislation and strategic planning in relation to environmental and natural resources conservation and management.

The main functions of the HCENR, according to the 2001 Environmental Act, include the following:

  • Laying down general policies and long term plans for environmental protection and sustainable use of natural resources
  • Coordinating efforts on environment and natural resource management among concerned government agencies and between the federal and state governments
  • Periodic reviewing of environmental legislation to make them more effective instruments for sustainable development
  • Encouraging and supporting research on environment and natural resources
  • Promoting environmental awareness and education.

4.3 Darfur Land Commission (DLC)

Darfur Land Commission (DLC) was established on 13th July 2007 as an integral part of the Transitional Darfur Regional Authority (TDRA) to address traditional and historical issues of land tenure and to review natural resources management in accordance with Article (20) of the Darfur Peace Agreement (DPA). In pursuing its objectives, the DLC intends to build broad database on natural resources and land use Mapping for Darfur to come up with comprehensive regional development plan in-order to help decision makers and planners in setting up plans for agricultural development, housing strategies and other land intensive livelihood initiatives; as well as enabling development agencies and investors to select potentially productive areas for projects and investment, n-addition to initiation of new development projects.

4.4 National Land Commission

The Independent National Land Commission with representative of all levels of government established under Article 187 INC. Its functions are:

  • To arbitrate between willing contending parties on claims over land;
  • To entertain claims, at its discretion, in respect of land, be they against the relevant government or other parties interested in the land. The parties to the arbitration shall be bound by the decision of the Commission on the basis of mutual consent and upon registration of the award in a court of law;
  • Enforce the law applicable to the locality where the land is situated or such other law as the parties to the arbitration agree, including principles of equity;
  • Accept references on request from the relevant government or in the process of resolving claims, make recommendations to the appropriate level of government concerning land reform policies and recognition of customary rights or customary land law;

  • Assess appropriate land compensation including but not limited to monetary compensation, for applicants in the course of arbitration or in the course of a reference from a court;
  • Advise different levels of government on how to coordinate policies on national projects affecting land or land rights;
  • Study and record land use practices in areas where natural resource development occurs; and
  • Conduct hearings and formulate its own rules of procedure.

4.5 The Remote Sensing Authority

The Remote sensing Authority was established in 1977 as a National Remote Sensing Center (NRSC) within the National Council for Research, Ministry of Higher Education. In 1996, the NRSCE was upgraded and renamed as Remote Sensing Authority (RSA) under the National Center for Research, Ministry of Science and Technology.

4.6 Other Institutions

  • The Government Land Disposition and Committee, responsible for allocating land, is comprised of individuals from other state level Ministries;
  • The Survey Department performs physical planning and surveying of urban plots, and is housed within the State Ministry of Engineering Affairs;
  • Within each state there is also a Land Registration Office that is part of the Civil

Court and is responsible for maintaining a state land registry. These institutions‟ capabilities vary significantly from state to state, but all lack necessary training and resources (De Wit 2001);

  • At the local level or mahalia level the customary authorities intersect with formal government institutions. Each mahalia supports a Land Conflict Resolution Committee that is responsible for resolving land disputes. Customary authorities typically play a prominent role on these committees. Disputes that cannot be resolved by the committee may be taken to Civil Court (De Wit 2001);
  • The Sudanese Environment Conservation Society (SECS) is first Sudanese civil society group concerned primarily with the issue of environment. Its mandate of the SECS is to raise environmental awareness and to advocate for environmental management and accountability;
  • The Sudan Development Association (SDA) is made up of development experts, as well as environment and gender advocates. Its main objective is promoting sustainable development in realizing its stated vision, which is a „just, inclusive and peaceful Sudan‟. The SDA has been the Sudan focal organisation for the regional network „the Sustainable Land Use Forum‟ (SLUF);
  • The Farmers and Pastoralists Unions work to improve the service and production environments for their respective members and to advocate for members‟ concerns with government and non-government actors;
  • There are customary institutions which function to some degree in rural areas. In some areas, traditional leaders continue to allocate land, and many such leaders maintain some record of land occupancy and transfers. The Native Administration is a form of a clan and tribal administration that administers the affairs of the tribal groups according to their norms and traditions.