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Tenure in Mystery: the Status of Land Under Wildlife, Forestry and Mining Concessions in Karamoja Region, Uganda

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In the 1960s, 94.6 per cent of the region of Karamoja was allocated to wildlife conservation. In 2002, the Ugandan Parliament approved the change in status of land use and tenure of about half of that land. More than a decade later, the local communities remain very little the wiser about the changed status of their land rights. People find their access to land is blocked and feel powerless against suspected land grabbing. Decisions on land – for conservation or for exploitation of natural resources – are being taken over the heads of the communities who live and work there and no adequate information is passed down to them. This article collates information on land given over to conservation, forestry and mining to provide a factual basis for interventions regarding communal tenure. Findings show that communities are vulnerable to internal and external loss of land and its resources – they do not have the information that would otherwise empower them to protect, negotiate and participate in ownership, use and management of their land.
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Keywords: FORESTRY; KARAMOJA; LAND TENURE; MINING; PASTORALISM; WILDLIFE

Document Type: Research Article

Publication date: June 1, 2013

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  • Nomadic Peoples is an international journal published by the White Horse Press for the Commission on Nomadic Peoples, International Union of Anthropological and Ethnological Sciences. Its primary concerns are the current circumstances of all nomadic peoples around the world and their prospects. Its readership includes all those interested in nomadic peoples, scholars, researchers, planners and project administrators.
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