It is a pleasure to present this final product of the Integrated Land Use and Development Plan (ILDP) for the Gambella Peoples National Regional States (GPNRS). The ILDP was initiated upon the official request of the government of the GPNRS and has been guided and successfully facilitated by the GPNRS in partnership with the Federal Ministry of Agriculture throughout the study. The ILDP is prepared to guide the economic, social and environmental transformation agenda of the regional government. The ILDP is prepared for six planning units of the GPNRS, three of its zones, the Itang special Woreda and Gambella City. Besides, separate ILDP was prepared for seven towns of the region, namely Gambella, Meti, Nyinenyang, Abobo, Itang, Tergol, and Matar.
The planning process adopted a unique approach in that it has been people-centered and truly participatory and transparent. Local communities have been engaged as the key drivers in the planning process through the direct involvement of the Common-commodity livelihood-sector Community Groups (CCGs). Expert groups of professionals (as consultants) guided the planning process and the project staffs of HoAREC&N of the Addis Ababa University together with the regional partners facilitated the overall process.
The ILDP is aligned with the national land use planning Roadmap designed for implementing a comprehensive land-use plan for the rest of the regions, city administrations and Zonal capital towns in the country. The expert consultants, most of whom were from Addis Ababa University, studied and compiled the scientific analysis of the soil and geology, forestry, land use land cover, energy, hydrology, climate and weather behavior, agroecology, gender, social and economic characteristics of the region. The natural potential of the land and levels of resilience have been thoroughly examined and new land uses have been re-assigned and revised in harmony with the CRGE agenda of the country.
I firmly believe that this Integrated Land Use and Development Plan would serve as an important instrument in guiding land-use decisions in the coming two decades in the region and serves as a model for subsequent land use plan preparations in other regions of the country. Let me use this opportunity to convey my sincere appreciation and words of thanks to our key partners, the Embassy of the Kingdom of the Netherlands and the Swedish International Development Cooperation Agency for financial support. The same goes for the Ministry of Agriculture and the National and Regional Steering Committee members, who have shown utmost commitment and dedication in overseeing the entire planning process from its inception to the review of this final product. Deserved thanks are also to the committed staffs of the HoAREC/N-AAU, the leadership and technical coordinators of the planning activities at the organization.
Professor Tasew W/Hawariat
President of Addis Ababa University