Land Tenure in South Sudan: Does It Promote Climate Change Resilience?

Land Tenure in South Sudan: Does It Promote Climate Change Resilience?

Source: The Sudd Institute, 2017

Author(s): Nhial Tiitmamer, Augustino Ting Mayai, and Nyathon Hoth Mai

Countries: South Sudan

Topics: Climate Change, Economic Recovery , Gender, Governance, Land, Livelihoods

Added: 10/04/2017


Land was a key driver of the war between Khartoum and Southern Sudan. The Khartoum government had placed the land and its resources under the state’s control, while the Sudan People’s Liberation Movement/Army (SPLM/A), which represented the South during the war, argued that the “land belongs to the community” and that the government could only regulate its usage and management (Marzatico, 2016, Shanmugaratnam 2008, Pantuliano, 2007). Khartoum utilized the Unregistered Land Act, 1970, to confiscate unregistered land (Marzatico, 2016, Pantuliano, 2007). Consequently, communal land in the Upper Nile, Nuba Mountains, and Darfur regions, was confiscated, which partly encouraged the Nuba people to join the SPLM/A (IBID). Recent studies on land tenure in South Sudan raise issues of food security, corruption, and ownership and examine company-community engagement in the acquisitions of large-scale land for investments, and women’s access to land and land conflicts (Deng 2011, 2013, Mennen, 2012; Pritchard 2013). These, however, do not focus on the relationship between land tenure systems and climate change resilience. Land tenure systems have implications for livelihoods following droughts or floods. In particular, lack of access to land has consequences for food security (crop production), access to water, natural resources (fish, forest resources), pastures and settlement, among others, during drought or flood disasters. Although the Land Act 2009 recognizes both the formal and customary land tenure systems, little is known in practice about how these systems promote climate change resilience in South Sudan. The absence of a climate change tailored land tenure system1 can have huge, negative implications not only on collective and individual livelihoods, but also on community relations, particularly in engendering land conflicts. Therefore, this study explores the nature of land tenure in South Sudan, with particular focus on whether it promotes resilience for citizens against climate change induced floods and droughts. The study looks at five main areas, such as (1) Climate change – land tenure nexus conceptual framework, (2) Nature of land tenure system, (3) Climate change and its impacts, (4) Land access-gender dimension, and (5) Adaptive and mitigating responses to climate change induced floods and droughts


View Item