A Higher Council for Environment and Natural Resources (HCENR) was established in 1992 with the mandate of coordinating activities pertaining to the environment and developing policies and strategies in this regard. The HCENR has links with the environmental councils established in some states and is in charge of the three International Framework Conventions (Climate change, Desertification and Biodiversity) and implementing three strategic projects: Support for Strategic Planning for Sustainable Environment Development; National Biodiversity Strategy and Action Plan and; Climate Change. These strategies together with the National Action Plan for combating desertification and mitigating the effects of drought have been harmonized through a newly formulated project entitled “Strengthening the Government of Sudan for the Formulation of a National Strategy for Sustainable Development”. This action is supported by the promulgation of the Environment Conservation Act 2001, which provides a policy and institutional framework for the conservation of the environment and natural resources. Nevertheless, environmental management remains characterized by weak implementation.
Stock trails: government demarcation of transhumance corridors
According to local observations, any solution to the conflict in Darfur – from the nomadic perspective – has to include an agreement on the designated North-South Migration Routes (Figure 3 and 4). Agreement is also required over a designated homeland for semi-nomadic groups and the provision of basic services along with a sustained reconciliation effort to restore trust between nomadic and farming communities.
In March 2005 Presidential Decree No. 20/2005 was issued to establish an Administrative Committee for Route Delineation – Darfur States (ACRD-DS). Decree No. 20/2005 had emerged because Darfur is a war-torn region and it is an attempt from the Government to put an end to the conflicts. The Decree was developed by a multidisciplinary team that was intended to represent all stakeholders. The mandate of the ACRD-DS is:
To define the administrative principles that stop frictions between the farmers and herders throughout Darfur States, with the consideration of:
The historical rights and traditions that prevailing among the communities.
The change that occurred due to the imbalance in demography and its impact upon land ownership between the farmers and the herders.
Arrangement of livestock routes to cope with emerging situations such as increased livestock numbers or increased cultivation area.
The role of the ACRD-DS is to demarcate the livestock routes and to prepare project proposals for services and development along the routes. To facilitate the implementation of the ACRD-DS mandate, the chairman of the ACRD-DS established three supporting committees in the three states of Greater Darfur; North, West and South. Each committee is formed of multidisciplinary members from all the concerned stakeholders and has a similar mandate to the ACRD-DS. The Committees comprise the State General Director of the MOA, the State General Director of MOPP, State Farmer Union Representative, State Pastoralists Union Representative, State Police Force Representative and the State Range Director, MOA.
Figure 3: Darfur Migration Routes Map
Figure 4: South Darfur Migration Routes Map
Implementation of route demarcation in South Darfur
This report focuses on route demarcation in South Darfur, which was selected because it is the State where the bulk of the work has been done by the ACRD-DS. Furthermore, at the time of study it was the only place where all land users (farmers and pastoralists) could be reached, and it was the most secure state in Darfur.
The construction of the ACRD-sd (South Darfur) built upon the representation of the decision-makers at state government level. At the level of South Darfur State, the ACRD-DS chairman further established Route Committees in nine Localities. The mandate of these committees is:
To amend, supervise, and remove obstacles from animal routes and any other short stay places;
To estimate the compensation for affected parties.
Locality level committees consist of the Locality Executive Manger, Locality Agricultural Coordinator, Locality Jurist Consult, Farmers Union Representative, Pastoralists Union Representative, Native Administration Representative, Animal Health Representative, Forestry Representative and the State Range and Pasture Administration Representative.
The strategy of ACRD-sd to implement its mandate was through executing two consultation workshops, establishing the necessary technical committees for route demarcation, issuing local orders, and making use of the 1996 Law that organizes farming and herding. The workshops were attended by all concerned stakeholders including:
Native Administration leaders of different levels;
Rehabilitation of the natural vegetation (under and over-story) along the routes.
The demarcation is carried out by fixing coloured cement posts17 three 1-3 meters high at both sides of the route (150 meter wide) at intervals of 1-3 km. Farms encompassed within the route (part or whole) are liable to compensation in kind or cash. On movement the pastoralists should be accompanied by police personnel, Administrative Officer, and a veterinarian18. In the demarcation process all concerned stakeholders should be present.