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09-07: Evolution of Land Policy in Asia
Finding Evidence For Land Policymaking In Timor-Leste – Successes And Limitations
Van Volenhoven Institute - Leiden University, Netherlands, The
Land-related conflict and lack of tenure security are two ‘dormant giants’ threatening security and stability in Timor-Leste. The history of Portuguese colonialism, Indonesian occupation, and the related waves of dispossession preceding the nation’s independence in 2002, bequeathed a system of conflicting land claims and unclear land rights to the new state that has not yet been addressed. The question often asked by land professionals, civil society organizations, and the Timorese populace is: why is it so difficult to approve legislation to address these land-related problems? Many factors have been suggested, but a crucial one has been overlooked: the lack of reliable, consistent, and independently collected data about land to inform government policies, civil society advocacy, and donor community interventions. To address this issue, the Van Vollenhoven Institute of Leiden University (The Netherlands) and The Asia Foundation have developed and piloted a survey to provide relevant data for evidence-based land policymaking in Timor-Leste. This paper uses the case study of this survey to explore the possibilities but also the limits of evidence-based policymaking.
Experiences Implementing Land Reform in Vanuatu
Land Equity International, Australia
This paper presents a reflective account of ongoing efforts to implement land reform in the Pacific island nation of Vanuatu.
It is written from the perspective of a practitioner involved in supporting the implementation of the reforms and as such presents first hand evidence from the reform process.
The paper provides a context for the reforms; describes the support provided through the Vanuatu Land Program; examines issues and challenges faced during the implementation phase; considers if the reforms can be considered ‘innovative’ and concludes with a consideration of whether the reforms create the necessary policy and legal framework that provides for the protection and preservation of customary land while allowing for sustainable development.
Implications of the Vestiges of Crown Land for Reconstruction and Development in Sri Lanka
1Abt Associates; 2University of Colombo
The total land area of Sri Lanka is 65,610 square kilometers including an inland water area of around 2905 square kilometers. Of this land area, 82% is State land, i.e., belonging to the State, and only 18%, the balance, is privately owned land. Before Sri Lanka [then Ceylon] gained independence from the United Kingdom, it was known as “Crown Land” and supposed to have belonged to the Crown in UK. In this respect, the land reform laws of 1972 and 1975 gave private land to the State, implementing a ceiling of 20 hectares private ownership of land by individuals. Disputes over use and possession of land have plagued Sri Lanka since independence and through out the 25 year civil conflict. Seven years after the end of the conflict land disputes are still rampant throughout Sri Lanka. The government of Sri Lanka needs to take steps to make a viable and desirable national land use policy through a consultative process, based on the 13th Amendment to the Constitution which requires a National Land Commission to be established by the Government.
Land Titling in the Philippines:: Addressing Challenges Through Reform-Oriented Framework
Department of Environment and Natural Resources, Philippines
The paper discusses the present system of land titling system in the Philippines and how the system contributes to the weakness in land administration and management. It tackles the various agencies/ bodies that provide titling services and the concomittant issues thereon such as tedious requirements and procedures, overlapping surveys, and double titling. There is a need for the acceleration of the issuance of titles over all untitled agricultural lands so that all the benefits to be gained from secure land rights can be achieved.
The Philippine Government recognizes the defects in this system.There are many issues that had been plaguing the land titling system resulting to slow title issuance and lack of confidence by the clients. Thus, the tendency is to go out of the formal land market which results to land becoming a dead capital.
The defective system necessitates the implementation of reforms such as the computerization of land records for easier access to land information and adopting a legislative reform agenda to merge land titling functions. These reforms shall facilitate land titling and bring forth economic growth. But the country faces a big challenge in effectively implementing these reforms particularly in terms of support and acceptance.