Monday, January 3, 2011



Systematic title registration

A systematic adjudication and registration covers all of the parcels in a jurisdiction block by block, village by village, plot by plot basis.
The target is built upon issuing titles to all eligible land holders processing them through a public land registration office- the task duration is built around the completion of the assigned area being mostly the most important target.

Most of the efforts in systematic adjudication and registration revolves around identifying the existing rights of occupied parcels using officially issued deeds or through private conveyance
Thailand issued over 5 million title deeds in about half of the provinces in the country impacting 33 percent of its population.

Systematic registration demand extensive field based search and a simultaneous running of a wide publicity guaranteeing maximum community participation. The timing of the project depends largely on the proactivness of the government in encouraging land holders as some of them may not be ready especially if issues such inheritance or mortgage is involved.
Most of the costs involved accrue to government because of the large capital costs logistically and in staff. Countries have mostly chosen not to avoid charging the full cost of systematic registration on the land holders in order not to lose their participation. However, they have chosen to recover some of the cost at the time of the next transaction. Systematic methods may bring the costs to $40 per parcel that may be recovered over a period of over 10 years and mostly used for rural area.

Sporadic Adjudication and Registration

Sporadic adjudication and registration depends on the user walking into the offices to perform the titling registration. As such, it uses the user pays principle and therefore in the short-term, allows the land office to operate on minimum budgets.

However it demands isolated surveys which on the long run might prove more expensive , longer conversion periods measured in decades depending on the footfall of users , minimum community participation that is limited to disputed ownership , typically office based process that make documentation and archiving the resolved cases versus unresolved cases problematic , poor publicity because of the ad hoc accept of its operational model that is not limited to a single geographic area , and affordability problems for low-income earners especially if the titling might mean levying taxes or charges for clarification of the ownership status .

The sporadic methods are important for on-going transaction registration processes in the operation of the land market even when adopting a systematic approach.
It is challenging to achieve registration of the full land bank of parcels. Several challenges face usually the management team in charge, below listed some of what was recounted by the projects reviewed:

  1. the achievement of better estimates of the total number of legal parcels in a district or village
  2. parcels not addressed because of their proximity to un-demarcated forest or state land areas; absentee owners
  3. village/community lands wrongly claimed and allocated to individuals
  4. lack of written evidence
  5. mortgagee reluctance to release existing evidence or to accept new parcel descriptions especially changed parcel areas
  6. deceased land holders and inheritance issues
  7. family land systems (multiple owners of undivided land parcels, and un-economic parcel sizes) incentive systems which may encourage systematic teams to leave the "too hard" parcels reluctance to pay fees

Initiatives that spread the awareness of the importance of holding a proper land title are important – an example of these campaigns is a unified and well funded publicity campaigns ranging from radio ads at critical times of the day for the land holders to door-step meetings with land holders, and many village-wide meetings.
Another hurdle to achieve the completion of the land titling process is its use to recover several
non-real property matters as a precondition to issue a title deed.

Undocumented Land Holders in Urban Areas

The land holders that did not document their ownership are old rural villages that were urbanized due to growth , or derelict state owned land occupied by traditional peoples, informal settlers sanctioned and supported by former city governments. They form an informal sector.

These situations demand most careful equitable and informed treatment by decision makers. The availability of independent legal advice might help these cases be resolved more swiftly .

Different planning, legal, logistics instruments are available to address the critical urban issue when faced :
  1. Favorable policies that take into consideration the possible resolutions when such cases exist
  2. prescriptive rights that was tackled in part 1
  3. provisional titles
  4. leasehold rights
  5. opportunities to purchase state land at affordable prices
Cadastral Survey and Mapping Techniques
The use of aerial mapping techniques aids the identification of the parcels and boundaries, en masse allowing economies of scale to be achieved in survey and mapping.
Challenges for the acquisition of aerial mapping surveyed in the 13 projects range from the capacity of the country to undertake the tasks (e.g., limited in Asia), the limited suitable flying season (e.g., in some countries it is less than three months), to the bidding process causing considerable delays in its acquisition, even with good planning and excellent staff.

Hand held GPS holds great Promise for Cadastral Surveys requires less coordination as well as fewer staff .However; the training is more complex as it needs to guarantee that low paid staff working at present with simple low cost survey equipment - often just a tape and a photomap- can use the sophisticated device

In most of the projects, the pressure is often great from senior management to use IT to achieve land registration system improvements. This needs not to happen at the expense of proper attention given to the root causes of problems: faulty manual systems, poor infrastructure, and lack of skilled staff.
Lack of target clarity, lack of organizational competence and absence of agency wide strategy might because IT implementation schemes to fail.

An agency-wide IT strategy needs to include:
  1. the network and node concept
  2. data standards
  3. data structure and concepts
  4. data management strategy
  5. agency-wide technology architecture
  6. structural IT management unit with direction powers to coordinate, implement and monitor the strategy
  7. an agency-wide IT user interface
  8. a supporting human resource development action plan.

Within this framework, land registration office computerization becomes a tool within this framework to deal with the registration of new parcels and subsequent transactions, perhaps starting with alphanumeric data and graduating to graphical data later. Pilot projects are important in this case to show impacts on operations and operate as change mechanisms in conservative agencies.

Land Information System (LIS) Approach

Starting land information system (LIS) efforts may fail if the agency did not conduct a proper needs analysis, with unclear objectives, support of IT management, operating in an environment of very incomplete data sets, e.g., less than 25% of the total parcels in any jurisdictions registered, and outdated cadastral maps.

Systematic titling and registration brings about complete coverage of all parcels in an area with up-to-date parcel information for the different levels of geographical scales. This can be considered as a basis for LIS as it can synthesize information beyond property rights security improvement use satisfying land information reports for other agencies


Justification and Economic Benefits Studies

An efficient trusted land registration system is part of the infrastructure of land markets and part of the national investment system of a nation. As reported by Mr Otmar Stocker "The legal basis for a mortgage granted for the long term and securely is a functioning land registration system. Without such a land registration system, construction of a market economy-based investment system is scarcely possible."
Different Fiscal revenues are collected through land ownership such as property taxes, transfer taxes, capital gains taxes, stamp duties and registration fees.
Adding a valuation component to the land titling brings large gains in revenues for government, e.g., the Thailand project.
Social and Political Implications

Land registration has political subtleties since regularizing property right might put the government face to face with dormant issues that might have been lagging for two generations
Regularization proves more difficult to manage when dealing with high value urban land where doubting possessory tights of right holders might put hidden bidders/developers at an advantage because of development plans that can put the land in more revenue generating mode .
Training and education

The training includes different level of information dissemination that are diverse –it can range from management workshops, on-the-job training or overseas study tours each with a focus or theme as well as work experience in overseas companies and agencies.
Such training is a critical element of a land titling and registration project in order to make sure information is transferred, that change is visible and as an important incentive for staff to perform better
Environmental concerns

In their submission of their environmental assessment, most of the projects have outlined positive impacts cited below caused by the improvement in security of tenure which will foster:
improved soil conservation because of more tree crops
less intensive use of land resulting from better farming practices
more potential private investment in environmental infrastructure in
housing- this can be challenged since it may also mean urbanization of ecologically important landscapes
resulting investment by the public sector for improved drainage and
sewerage which may pose threat to conservation areas if it draws intensity in settlement


Thailand projects              US$33 to $47 per hectare (average rural parcel size 0.9
hectares)-av. $40 per parcel
Brazil North East Land      US$6.5 per hectare (average parcel size 47 hectares)
Algeria                  US$5.5 per hectare
Costa Rica                  US$ 14 per hectare
Indonesia                 US$ 40-50 per parcel

Mapping                  24%
Adjudication                 18%
Survey                 22 %
Registration                 23%
Institution building             13%.

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