IMAS 04.10 defines handover as “the process by which the beneficiary (for example, the NMAA on behalf of the local community or land user) receives and accepts land which was previously suspected of containing an explosive hazard but which has subsequently had this suspicion removed, or reduced to a tolerable level, either through non-technical survey, technical survey or clearance.”

Following clearance, land should be handed over as soon as possible for productive use. Handover ceremonies and information dissemination are important because affected communities may not always be aware of survey/clearance operations, when operations are complete, the perimeters of the surveyed/cleared land and if the previously contaminated land is safe to use.

Handover of land
Handover of land

In collaboration with the Gender and Mine Action Programme (GMAP), the GICHD conducted a study on Handover of released land: Common procedures and good practices in 2012. The study consolidates good practice and lessons learnt, assesses whether gender is taken into account and presents general recommendations.

The GICHD will, in collaboration with GMAP, continue to work on issues related to handover of land.  Activities will focus on providing country specific support with the aim to strengthen handover procedures and promote equitable and sustainable land use and long-term development, and disseminating lessons learnt in relation to handover procedures.