Land and decentralization in Senegal
Land and decentralization policies in Senegal have been closely linked since the country became independent in 1960. Public lands are currently managed by the local government of municipalties and rural communities, with the latter responsible for the land and natural resources in unprotected parts of their territory, and the former empowered to issue building permits. The law also provides opportunities for rural communities, municipalties and regions to be involved in managing special areas such as classified forests, national parks and protected spaces. Popular participation however depends on several factors: How far the central government and administration are prepared to go in involving local people and local governments, and therefore what rights they grant them; the competences and resources available to communities; and the human and financial resources that local governments can call upon in order to fulfill their roles. This paper explores these issues and discuss their effect on decentralization and land management in Senegal.
Issue paper no. 149, IIED, May 2008