Timor-Leste: Strengthening Property Rights in Timor-Leste

Completed Project
Project Countries: Timor-Leste
Project Duration: 2007 to 2012
Approximate Funding: $9,875,734

The Strengthening Property Rights in Timor-Leste program aimed to strengthen and clarify property rights, including aiding government to develop implementing regulations for the land law (i.e., registration, taxation, valuation, expropriation, foreign ownership).

Objectives

  • Clarify and strengthen people’s rights in land and property through land policy, law, and regulations.
  • Increase people’s understanding of their rights and responsibilities under law by supporting public information awareness.
  • Strengthen the country’s cadastre, land registration, and land administration system to connect rights in law with rights of land and property holders on the ground.
  • Assist the national and regional governments with mediation and reconciliation to reduce conflict over resources and provides people with effective legal protection.

Outcomes

  • Recorded 53,814 land claims for 50,101 parcels of land, since October 2011, in a process that is free of charge to participants and decentralized.
  • Developed an extensive public information awareness campaign explaining data collection processes as well as broadcasting messages explaining such concepts as “freedom to claim,” “peaceful resolution of disputes,” and “gender equity and joint claims by husbands and wives”.
  • Provided support for the Ministry of Justice and the Gusmão Administration’s Land Law Working Group to finalize a Land Bill for that was passed in Parliament in March 2010.
  • Trained local government officials on land-dispute mediation that supports land ownership data collection activities.

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