Development, Management and Utilization of Community Watersheds
WHEREAS, it is necessary to prevent environmental degradation and natural resources depletion and to develop water resources and reduce greenhouse gas emissions in order to maintain the productivity of the land for the future generation with a view to creating suitable conditions for agriculture;
WHEREAS, it is necessary to extend the ongoing watershed development activities with a view to increasing production and productivity of farmers to ensure food security and create conducive environment to create job opportunities;
WHEREAS, although watershed development activities were undertaken in the previous years by investing large amount of human and financial resources, ensuring their sustainability demands devising mechanisms whereby the watershed users assume responsibility to manage, utilize and protect natural resources with the sense of ownership;
WHEREAS, it is necessary to develop universal capacity of community watershed users to manage, utilize and protect the resources they have developed;
NOW, THEREFORE, in accordance with article 55(1) and (2)(a) of the Constitution of the Federal Democratic Republic of Ethiopia, it is hereby proclaimed as follows:
1. Short Title
This Proclamation may be cited as the “Development, Management and Utilization of Community Watersheds Proclamation No…../2020”
In this Proclamation, unless the context requires otherwise,
1/ “Association” means a body which is established and registered in accordance with this Proclamation based on the common desire of the community/micro watershed users and which comprises such users as its members;
2/ “Community/Micro Watershed” means a geographical area, described by the watershed limits of water system including surface and underground water flowing into a common terminus and its average size is about 500 hectares.
3/ ‘’Community watershed development’’ is implementing measures to harmonize the use of soil, water and vegetation in a way that conserves these resources and maximize their productivity in the community watershed.
4/ “Community watershed users” means persons who are utilizing the resources created by the development of the community watershed directly or indirectly either individually or by forming association or user group.
5/ “Communal holding” means rural land that is located within watershed and are managed consensually by the users thereof and not occupied by private, governmental, or nongovernmental organizations and institutions and transferred to local communities by the government, for their common possession and utilization by performing various natural resources conservation and development activities.
6/ “People with special need” means those sections of the society who encounter difficulties to demand and secure their rights due to their social, health, or economic conditionslike women, disabled once, children and senior citizens.
7/ “Natural resource institute” means a governmental institute established for conservation, development and utilization of natural resources in the area or woreda where the watershed is situated.
8/ “Participation” means the right to engage in the decision-making process of those with customary or legal rights to the resources affected by the decision.
9/ “Person” means natural or juridical person;
10/ “Region” means any state referred to in Article 47 (1) of the Constitution of the Federal Democratic Republic of Ethiopia and includes the Addis Ababa City Administration and Dire Dawa Administration;
11/ “Ministry” means Ministry of Agriculture;
3. Gender Expression
In this Proclamation, any expression in the masculine gender shall include the feminine.
4. Scope of Application
This Proclamation shall apply to community watersheds that are found in the country.
Watershed Plan and Development
5. Types of Watersheds
1/ Watersheds that are recognized in this Proclamation are community watersheds and the major watershed identified by the woreda level.
2/ The size or geographical boundary of any community or major watershed shall be demarcated in a conducive or commensurate manner so as to make possible integrated development and effective conservation of all natural resources that are found in a given area.
6. Community Watershed
1/ The average size of a community watershed shall be 500 ha.However,this size may be greater or lesser based on the geographical setup of a locality or by taking into account the purpose of the watershed development.
2/ If the size of community watershed exceeds 500 hectares as stipulated under sub-article 1 of this article, the watershed may be partitioned, as convenient, for the purpose of development and conservation.
3/ Notwithstanding the provision of sub-article 2 of this article, the size of watershed that is created due to partition shall not be less than 200 hectares.
7. Major Watershed
1/ Major watershed shall refer to the conglomeration of community watersheds and it shall cover an area upto 20000 hectares.
2/ Notwithstanding the provision of sub-article 1 of this article, the size of Major watershed may be greater or lesser based on the geographical setup of a locality or to create conducive situation for its management.
3/ Major watersheds shall be delineated based on major rivers found in a woreda.
4/ To develop community watersheds that are separated from the Major watershed it is necessary to begin from the upper part of the Major watershed and move to its lower part in sequential order.
5/ Without prejudice to the provision of sub-article 3 of this article, the level of degradation, available human resource, and resource availability shall be considered to identify which of the adjacent community watersheds located below the upper watershed shall be developed prior to others.
8. Preparation of Community Watershed Plan
1/ The preparation of community watershed plan shall adhere to the principle of participation.
2/ Persons who develop the community watershed shall first prepare community watershed plan.
3/ A watershed plan shall be prepared before the establishment of an association by the association’s founding committee indicated under Article 10 sub-article 6 of this proclamation with the assistance of the concerned natural resource institute alongside establishing the association.
4/ The activities included in the plan to be prepared shall be the ones which enable prevention of environmental degradation and natural resources depletion; development of water resources; reduction of greenhouse gas emissions in order to enhance land productivity.
5/ When development of community watershed is planned, preparation shall be made to facilitate the development of the entire watershed and appropriate precautions shall be taken to avoid the possibility of developing part of the watershed and leaving the other part undeveloped.
6/ To make the implementation of watershed development plan conducive, the plan to develop major watershed, which is the conglomeration of community watersheds, shall be prepared, as may be necessary, separately based on the size of community watersheds.
7/ A plan that is prepared for a community watershed, where the natural watershed boundary, does not coincide with administrative boundary shall be prepared by engaging all the watershed user communities thereof.
8/ The preparation of watershed development plan shall adhere to the principle of environmental and social sustainability.
9/ A given watershed shall have a comprehensive long-term plan of that is supported by a map.
10/ Without prejudice to the provision of sub-article 9 of this article, annual plans shall be prepared for community watersheds based on their long-term plans.
11/ The plan to be prepared for a given micro watershed shall be based on the strategic plan of a basin in which the community/micro watershed is located.
12/ Where the plan prepared by the association crosses the boundaries of more than one woreda, the plan shall be submitted to the concerned woredas and approved by the agreement of their natural resources’ institutes. The detail shall be determined by regulation.
13/ Identified community watersheds and major watersheds shall be coded following the national codification procedure.
9. Community Watershed Development
1/ Community watershed development activities shall begin from the upper part and move to the lower part of the watershed.
2/ It is necessary to select technologies that are suitable for the watershed to be developed and implement same properly.
3/ Community watersheds may be developed by the watershed users, through projects that are established by the government or nongovernmental organizations, or by individuals.
4/ When a community watershed plan falls on an area where there is difference between natural watershed and administrative boundary, its implementation shall be organized following the administrative boundary.
5/ In watershed development activities, integrated pest and disease controlling mechanisms shall be implemented.
6/ The watershed users shall obtain any artificial fertilizer or similar chemical input only from the government or entities lawfully licensed for this purpose.
7/ In order to prevent harm that may be caused to apiculture, crops, and the environment due to utilization of any pesticide chemical, the organ that is authorized to distribute such chemicals shall raise users’ awareness adequately and instruct them to use the chemicals in appropriate seasons and convenient time of the day.
6/ Without prejudice to the provision of sub-article 3 of this article, the use of some chemicals which, due to their strong poisonous nature, cause serious harm to plants and the environment, shall be made with the assistance or close supervision of experts and appropriate caution shall be taken not to dispose of their residues into rivers, ponds, streams and other water bodies.
9/ The inputs that are used in watershed areas shall meet the required standard and they shall be unexpired.
10 /Users of watershed are encouraged to use natural agricultural inputs.
Establishment of Watershed Users’ Association
10. Establishment of Watershed Users’ Association
1/ Community watershed users will form an association in order to develop and administer the community watershed and ensure sustainability of their economic benefit.
2/ Users of watershed shall be organized in an association in accordance with relevant laws.
3/ Awatershed users’association shall be established based on the volition and full consent of the watershed users.
4/ The association shall be established based on the size or the boundary of the watershed. However, where the watershed and administrative boundaries do not coincide, the association shall be established following the woreda boundary.
5/ The memorandum of association and articles of association shall be discussed and agreed to by the user community and shall contain detailed provisions on how the community can possess watershed with the sense of ownership and develop, manage, and protect it.
6/ The concerned woreda natural resources institute, in collaboration with the concerned organ for organizing associations, shall have the duty to organize an association founding committee.
7/ The agreement of the users shall be drafted by the founding committee and approved by two-thirds majority vote of the general assembly.
8/ Appropriate bodies shall have the responsibility to support the members of the founding committee when the memorandum of association and articles of association of watershed users’ association are drafted, presented for discussion, and discussed and approved by the general assembly.
9/ A copy of the memorandum of association and articles of association of the users’ association that was presented to and approved by the general assembly in accordance with sub-article 7 of this article shall be sent, for the purpose of notification, to the kebele administration where the watershed is located.
10/ Watershed users’ association shall, upon fulfillment of the necessary requirements, obtain legal personality from the relevant organ authorized by the regional government.
11/ When natural resource products in communal holdings of the watershed such as grass, forest and forest products or other similar products are sold in kind or in cash, the amount of money to be partitioned among members of the association and the amount to be deposited in a bank account in the name of the association for watershed development shall be determined in the association’s bylaw.
11. Members of Watershed Users’ Association
All Ethiopians who have attained eighteen years and above shall have the right to be principal members of the watershed users’ association in accordance with this Proclamation if they fulfill any one of the following criteria.
1/ Those who have landholding in the watershed and earn their livelihood thereof;
2/ Persons who, even if they do not have landholding in the watershed, use the natural resource because they live in or around the watershed;
3/ Persons who do not live in the watershed region but who are connected to the watershed through land rental or other lawful means;
4/ Notwithstanding the provision of sub-article 1 of this Article, persons who have landholding in the watershed and who are less than eighteen years of age may be registered as members through their guardians.
5/ All people with special need in the society who meet the criteria set out in this article shall have full right to become members of an association and beneficiaries thereof.
12. Withdrawal from Principal Membership
A person who is a member the association in accordance with Article 11of this proclamation may leave his membership based on any of the following reasons;
1/ If the member is not willing to continue his membership;
2/ If the member fails to discharge his duties in accordance with the articles of association and his withdrawal is decided by the general assembly;
3/ If it is found that he does not fulfill the criteria set out in article 11 of this Proclamation.
4/ The right of any member who left the association shall be determined by the Article of the association.
13. Honorary Members of Community Watershed Users’ Association
1/ Watershed users’ association may accept as honorary members; individuals, organizations, or institutions which support the achievement of its objectives and operate around the watershed even if they do not directly benefit from the watershed.
2/ Honorary members shall have no right to elect, to be elected, or to vote on any matter in the association of watershed users.
14. Roles and Responsibilities of Associate Members
1/ Honorary members shall, on their own initiative or at the request of the association’s executive committee, render educational and advice services on natural resource development and protection and provide technical and financial support.
2/ When summoned by the executive committee of the watershed, they may participate in the general assembly meetings and give their opinions.
15. Union and Federation of Watershed Users’ Associations
Associations of community watershed users may establish a union of watershed users’ associations at the Major watershed level or a federation of watershed users’ associations at a higher level.
16. Rights of the Members of Watershed Users’ Association
1/ Any person who is a member of a watershed users’ association shall have the following rights.
a) The right to use the natural resources in the watershed individually or collectively;
b) The right to participate in community discussions concerning natural resources in the watershed;
c) The right to elect and to be elected in the users’ association established in watershed and its various committees;
d) The right to create user groups based on their vocation or interest to engage in additional income generating activities in a manner that is not prejudicial to the watershed;
e) In accordance with sub-article 5 of this article, “income generating activities” shall include bee-keeping, processing and supplying dairy products, animal fattening, producing and supplying non-timber forest products, producing and supplying vegetables and fruits, forage development, and other similar activities that are not harmful to watershed development.
2/ Users of the watershed but not members of the association shall not have the rights stipulated under sub-article 1(c) and (d) of this article.
3/ The rights stipulated under sub-article 1 of this Article in relation to persons indicated under sub-article 6 of this Article shall apply only to their private holdings and to the communal holdings, which are verified by the community or by a legally mandated body.
17. Duties of Members of Watershed Users’ Association
Any person who is member of watershed users’ association according to this Proclamation shall have the following duties:
1/ to participate in natural resource development undertaken in the watershed
2/ to protect and prevent naturallyobtained resources and those obtained through development intervention within the watershed, from destruction;
3/ to pay membership fee based on the articles of association;
4/ to actively participate in the discussions, plan preparations, protection and development activities, labor contributions without, however, affecting their livelihoods, that are carried out privately, in group, or collectively in accordance with the articles of the association;
5/ to engage in the maintenance of natural resource development infrastructures, which require maintenance, as per the schedule issued by the association, so that they shall continue rendering regular services.
18. Organization of the Association
A watershed users’ association shall have the following organs:
1/ General Assembly
2/ Executive Committee
3/ Sub-committees, as may be necessary
19. Powers and Functions of the General Assembly
The General Assembly shall be the highest organ of the association and it shall have the following powers and functions.
1/ Approving the annual work plan, watershed plan, and budget of the association;
2/ Electing and removing the members of the governing organs and other sub-committees of the association;
3/ Approving and amending the memorandum of association, articles of association, and bylaws of the association;
4/ Determining the amount of contributions and fines to be paid by members of the association;
5/ Hearing and approving financial and performance reports submitted to it by the executive committee;
6/ Making decisions to re-organize the association or to liquidate the properties of the association;
7/ Deciding on matters which involve transferring properties of the association in any manner;
8/ Approving decisions submitted to it by the executive committee concerning withdrawal or dismissal of members;
9/ Deciding on any matter that is submitted to it by the executive committee and other committees;
20. Rules of Procedure of the General Assembly
1/ The General Assembly of the association shall hold its regular meeting once in six months. However, urgent meeting can be held if more than half of the members of the association support such meeting.
2/ There shall be a quorum if more than half of the members of the association are present at a meeting.
3/ Any matter shall be regarded as the decision of the General Assembly only if it is supported by the majority vote of the members present at a meeting. However, when there is a tie, the chairperson shall have a casting vote.
4/ Notwithstanding to the provisions of sub-article 3 of this article, two-thirds majority vote shall be required to approve or amend the memorandum of association and articles of association, to dissolve or reorganize the association, and to liquidate the property of the association.
21. Executive Committee
1/ Every association shall have an executive committee of five to eleven members.
2/ The executive committee shall have a chairperson, vice chairperson, secretary, finance officer, watershed development coordinator, and other members.
3/ The powers and functions of the executive committee members shall be determined by the articles of association.
4/ The selection of members to the executive committee shall take into account women’s participation and at least 30% of the members shall be women.
5/ The committee shall be accountable to the General Assembly.
6/ In addition to implementing the decisions of the General Assembly, the executive committee shall have the following functions and responsibilities;
a) It shall prepare agenda and call and lead the regular and urgent meetings of the General Assembly;
b) It shall administer and keep the finance and property of the association.
c) It shall prepare the associations’ work plan, budget, and watershed users’ draft agreements and submit them to the General Assembly for approval and implement same when approved;
d) It shall submit to the General Assembly annual activities and budget reports;
e) It shall carry out the daily activities of the association;
f) It shall perform other related activities that are entrusted to it by the General Assembly.
7/ The executive committee can conduct meetings and pass decisions by a majority vote if more than half of its members are present.
1/ The association shall establish various committees as may be necessary.
2/ The committees to be established according to sub-article 1 of this Article may include, but not limited to the following:
a) Watershed Protection Committee
b) Grievance redress committee
c) Inspection committee
23. Relationship of the Association with other organs
1/ May obtain necessary support by establishing direct linkage with kebele administration;
2/ May conclude agreements with governmental or nongovernmental organizations or associations which operate in the locality or other such entities to support the realization of its objectives;
3/ May conclude contracts with various organs to perform a particular work with or without payment;
Watershed Protection, Management, and Utilization
24. Protection, Management, and Utilization of Watershed Development Activities
1/ Without prejudice to the provisions of other laws relating to the rights and duties of rural landholders, any private or communal holder within a watershed shall, based on the natural landscape of the land, have the duty to undertake soil and water conservation works, rehabilitation and maintenance to prevent soil erosion and maintain soil fertility.
2/ Any private or communal holder shall have the duty:
a) To control and protect animal roaming in order to prevent harm to the watershed development works that have been undertaken;
b) To maintain fertility and health of soil by planting and protecting forests, forage trees, and plant species which enhance soil fertility on the boundaries of his farmlands and on the farmlands, and on the sides of walkways within the watershed;
c) To leave, according to the condition of the area, sufficient buffer between his land and rivers, springs, rehabilitated gullies, and wetlands which are found around his land to prevent causing harm to them while using and managing his land;
d) To dispose excess runoffs created on his holding to artificial or natural water ways in a watershed and to receive such runoff from others, too, and lead them to such water ways in order to prevent the flood from causing damage to nearby farmlands;
e) Notwithstanding to the provisions of sub-article d of this article, the person shall notify to the association and the concerned natural resources office if the problem is beyond his capacity to solve.
f) To make that his neighbor’s crops and rights are not affected because of the shadow of and water drops from the plants grown on his possession or on boundaries of his land within the watershed.
g) When there is a land use plan approved by a concerned organ in the watershed, to develop and preserve his land in accordance with the plan;
h) To take appropriate cautions to avoid the occurrence of fire in the watershed;
i) To take care not to cause the migration of wild animals and birds which are found in his farmland and in the surrounding areas within the watershed;
j) Concerning the use of forest trees, forage and plant species which enhance soil fertility that he has planted and grown on his own possession within the watershed, the Forest Development, Conservation and Utilization laws and other relevant laws shall apply.
25. Use of Woods, Non forest products and Grass
1/ The people who have use right over private or communal landholdings within the watershed also have the right to use dry wood, trees, shrubs, grasses and nontimber forest products that grow or are planted in such lands.
2/ Any dry wood, trees, shrubs or grasses grown or nontimber forest products in areas other than those mentioned under sub-article 1 of this Article and which are found within the watershed are common property of the members and the association may cut and use them in accordance with its bylaw.
3/ The utilization of the resources mentioned under sub-articles 1 and 2 of this article shall be made in a way that ensures their sustainability.
26. Use of Stone and Sand in the Watershed Area
1/ In accordance with the relevant Mining Operations law, the responsibility to protect and use sand and stone which are found in possessions mentioned under article 25(1) of this proclamation shall belong to the landholders.
2/ The stone and sand within the watershed and situated on communal or government possession, shall belong to the association and may be used for the development of the watershed in accordance with relevant Mining Operations law.
3/ Notwithstanding the provisions of sub-articles 1 and 2 of this article, in order to use and protect the supply of stone and sand in a sustainable manner, care shall be taken not to cause soil erosion.
27. Water resource utilization in the Community Watershed Area
Water resources utilization in the community /micro watershed shall be in accordance with relevant laws of Ethiopian water resources utilization and administration.
28. Payment for Ecosystem Services
Persons who are not members of the association but who are benefiting from watershed development shall have the duty to support the development of the watershed.
29. Compensation for Ecological Damage
If harm occurs to the watershed or watershed users due to construction of infrastructure or other activities, those who are responsible for the harm shall have the duty to pay commensurate compensation for the harm caused and to restore the area to its previous condition in accordance with relevant laws.
Other Matters Concerning Watershed Community
30. Handing over completed watershed works
1/ Any private or communal holder shall count and receive watershed development works that were carried out by him, the society, the association, or watershed development activities which were completed and being transferred by governmental or nongovernmental organizations.
2/ When transfer takes place, the relevant organ of the concerned woreda shall ascertain that the development works meet the required quality.
1/ A system of recognition and reward shall be established by the woreda for a possessor who has shown highest performance by maintaining and protecting soil and water development and protection works that were undertaken individually or collectively in the watershed.
2/ A system of recognition and reward shall be established to recognize and reward an association that has a better watershed development performance from among the associations in the woreda.
32. Gender and people with special need
1/ Gender balance shall be ensured in any watershed management and utilization process.
2/ Women and people with special need shall have the right to participate equally and benefit, to the extent their capacity and vocation permits, in all beneficial watershed development activities.
33. Responsibility of the Ministry
1/ The Ministry shall have the responsibility to implement this Proclamation by coordinating appropriate institutions and giving them the necessary technical support.
2/ The Ministry shall cause the establishment of a mechanism whereby information concerning watershed development, management, and utilization is exchanged between regions and the federal government.
34. Duty of Regions
1/ Regions have the responsibility to create awareness on this Proclamation and other laws related with HHHH establishment and organization of associations and to encourage establishment of associations and implement such laws.
2/ Regions shall issue directives based on this Proclamation and regulations to be issued to implement this Proclamation.
35. Duty of concerned natural resources institute
The duties and responsibilities of concerned natural resources institute may include, but not limited to the following:
a) Support the community watershed management plan preparation; approves the plans of the community for implementation.
b) Coordinate the development, administration and utilization of watershed resources
c) Support, monitor and regulate user group formation for income generation activities in the community watersheds in the woreda
d) Determines the size of the major and community watershed based on the geographic condition of the area.
1/ Penalties that are recognized in the Criminal Code and other laws shall be applicable if the duties stipulated in this Proclamation are not discharged.
2/ Administrative measures to enforce implementation of this proclamation shall be determined by the regulation of this proclamation.
37. Transitory Provisions
1 /Associations which were established before the enactment of this Proclamation shall be acceptable provided, they make the necessary adjustments to this Proclamation within six months from issuance date of this proclamation.
2/ Watershed committee that was established in accordance with previous practice shall be acceptable until it is replaced by another sub-committee.
38. The Power to Issue Regulations
The Council of Minsters shall issue regulations for the implementation of this Proclamation.
39. Inapplicable Laws
No law, regulation, directive or practice may, in so far as it is inconsistent with the provisions of this Proclamation, be applicable with respect to matters provided for by this Proclamation.
40. Effective Date
This Proclamation shall enter into force on the date of its publication in the Federal NegaritGazette.
Done at Addis Ababa this ____day of_____2020
President of the Federal Democratic