ESLR - Enhancing Systematic Land Registration


The absence of land use regulations enforcement and poor-quality land administration services have limited land tenure security of the Lao population, and have contributed to social tensions and poverty. Switzerland, with its long standing engagement in the land governance sector, will support the Lao People’s Democratic Republic’s effort to accelerate systematic land registration, hence strengthening land tenure security of the Lao population, including the vulnerable groups, women and ethnic minorities.

Country/region Topic Period Budget
Laos
Governance
Agriculture & food security
Other

Public sector policy
Agricultural land resources
Sector not specified
15.03.2021 - 30.09.2026
CHF  9’141’000
Background In Lao PDR, since the formulation of the “Turning Land into Capital” policy in 2010, growth has been predominantly driven by the leveraging of natural resources, to which a significant amount of land has been devoted through large-scale concessions and development projects (e.g. mining and hydropower, rubber tree and banana plantations), regarded as a main way for the country to achieve rapid economic development growth. Rural poor are particularly subject to potential negative impacts of those development projects such as loss of access to land. In recent years, the Government of Lao PDR has questioned the effectiveness of the policy formulated in 2010 and adopted land tenure security improvement as a strategy for improving a transparent and accountable system of governance in rural areas that also protects the country’s natural capital and provides greater socio-economic opportunities for the country’s citizens. In 2020, the Government revised and passed a new Land Law and a Forestry Law, which among others acknowledge and protect customary land use rights, pending the issuance of official land titles. Systematic land registration and titling has emerged as a key mechanism to verify, adjudicate and formalize individual land claims.
Objectives The overall objective of the “Enhancing Systematic Land Registration project” is to support the Government of Lao PDR in improving tenure security and land administration services in selected areas. This will be achieved by supporting and improving the government systematic land registration process, advancing the issuance of property titles to beneficiary landholder and supporting the modernization of the land administration system and related services for citizens.
Target groups

-    About 780 officials at national and district level, will be trained or retrained in systematic land registration process;

-    About 2 million landholders nationwide, with at least 42.5% women.

Medium-term outcomes

Outcome 1:    Landholders, in particular women, have improved recognition and protection of their rights to land (Component 1); 

Outcome 2:    The Ministry of Natural Resources and Environment’s Land department offices function efficiently with first land registration completed and the numbers of subsequent land transactions increased, and public satisfaction with the services is good (Component 2);

Outcome 3:    Relevant Government authorities improve land administration and management policies and practices (Component 3);

Outcome 4: Poor and vulnerable persons, including women and ethnic minorities have improved access to legal information and counseling services on natural resources and livelihood rights (PIASVC project*).

Results

Expected results:  

-    1 million land use titles issued, with 42.5% of the titles in the name of women or jointly for married couples;

-    Provincials and Districts Offices of Natural Resources and Environment business processes, facilities and ICT readiness improved;

-    Public Service centers established that record first-time and subsequent registration services established and operational;

-    Fully developed “Lao LandReg” (National land registration system) deployed in the Provincials and Districts Offices of Natural Resources and Environment offices, and Service Centers; 

-    Studies for further legal framework development on customary lands and land within state forestlands completed;

-    Social and economic studied completed.


Results from previous phases:  

-    Titles were given to 395,279 landowners; 

-    Nearly 67% of the titles were issued jointly or in the name of womenFormal land transactions (sales and rentals) roughly doubled, rising from 17,009 in Fiscal Year 2003/04 to 34,973 transactions in 2007/08; 

-    The number of mortgage-backed business loans increased from 3,271 in 2003-04 to 6,791 in 2007-08; 

-    Higher Diplomas in surveying and land management were awarded to 250 students (93 women); 

-    Overall increase in land related taxes and fees was 86 % compared to the target of 30%.


Directorate/federal office responsible SDC
Project partners Contract partner
International Financial Institution (IFI)
Swiss Non-profit Organisation
  • HELVETAS Swiss Intercooperation
  • World Bank - International Development Association


Other partners
Contribution to the World Bank’s ESLR Project, through a Standalone Trust Fund.
Coordination with other projects and actors

-    Mekong Region Land Governance Project (MRLG);

-    Knowledge for Development (K4D); 

-    The GIZ Enhance Land Tenure Security II

-    The World Bank’s Improving Resilience and the Resilience Impact of National Land and Geospatial Systems project.  

Budget Current phase Swiss budget CHF    9’141’000 Swiss disbursement to date CHF    2’250’000