A new model for land use planning
MetadataShow full item record
CTA. 2006. A new model for land use planning. Rural Radio Resource Pack 06/1. Wageningen, The Netherlands: CTA.
Permanent link to this item: http://hdl.handle.net/10568/57168
Using three dimensional models for land use planning in South Africa.
A new model for land use planning Cue: Africa is well known as a continent rich in natural resources. However, if those resources are to bring prosperity and development, how they are used and managed is clearly critical. But who has the right to decide how the resources should be used? Local communities? Town councils? Government ministries or planning departments? An obvious answer is that it depends on who owns the land, but in many areas ownership is disputed. In much of rural South Africa, as elsewhere, two different systems of land ownership exist side-by-side, the formal system based on legal documents, and traditional systems rooted in local culture. Not surprisingly, reaching agreements on how land should be used in this context can be extremely difficult, and may lead to open conflict. According to Pat Luckin, a land use planner working in South Africa, preventing conflict and developing agreement over land use depends on involving local communities in planning, and creating better communication between the communities and other interest groups. In recent work with two communities, Pat has experimented with a new approach which she believes has greatly improved that communication process, and has given people a much better understanding of the resources that they have. She spoke to Susanna Thorp about the new approach and the way it has been used. IN: ?I think the most important thing ? OUT: ? reduction of conflict in certain areas.? DUR?N 3?38? BACK ANNOUNCEMENT: Pat Luckin, on some new approaches to land use planning that have recently been piloted in South Africa. Transcript Luckin I think the most important thing to realise when one deals with planning processes is trust, and that people participate in the planning process. Now that?s quite difficult with the formal planning tools that we have which are quite abstract and often come from other countries and sometimes aren?t applicable to our local conditions. So what we?ve done is we built three-dimensional models, physical models, so people can physically see the land and touch a model. Immediately people then identify where they live, where their schools are, where the rivers are, where the hills are, where the forests are etc. Thorp So how has that made a difference in the way that people have worked together and if they have identified these things, how have they then used those results? Luckin What we have done in our communities is we have brought people together, traditional leaders, women, other community members, people with disabilities, to make sure that we have a good range of people living in that particular area and ensure that they can participate on how land in that particular area should be used. Obviously one does this in an area where people are demanding a change in land use or more appropriate land use or where there are some conflicts in land use and people need to resolve these problems. So bring all the different parties together around the model and they just start discussing how they want to use different pieces of land. Thorp Now you mentioned that there had previously been a lot of conflict. Has this process allowed some of those conflicts to be resolved, can you give me examples? Luckin Often when one has large areas of land, like particularly in South Africa, there is often distrust or lack of communication between different sectors of communities, between traditional leaders and municipalities, and what these particular projects have facilitated is that by bringing the people together around the model, we?ve had municipal officials, we?ve had traditional leaders, we?ve had elders and women all talking around the same issues and agreeing and understanding one another. And I think that the modeling process has huge potential for helping people to genuinely communicate with one another and realise that they are much closer to one another than they had thought before, and that they all have the same intention which is the management of land and the development of a particular area concerned. Thorp So a very powerful tool obviously, but you?ve only used it in two communities? Luckin Very small, yes. Thorp How would you take this process on now? Are there lessons that you have learned that you would perhaps do differently or is this something that you would like to try elsewhere? Luckin Oh yes well the responsibility of using models in a community are very huge. So as I said earlier they must be based on trust. There is certain information in communities relating to biodiversity, relating to plants and animals which have specific significance to communities which they might not want to divulge and they have the right to keep that information private and within the community and not make it public, particularly relating to medicinal plants where people invariably get exploited. Next time I go into a community we would write up protocols of how the information would be managed, who would own the information, how much of it would become mapped in a public map for public consumption and how much of it would be kept within the community. It does not solve all problems there are obviously lots of other land legal problems which require other kinds of solutions but it definitely can facilitate the reduction of conflict in certain areas. End of track