Govt urged to implement comprehensive land policy

Kathmandu, November 27

An international workshop on the ‘Role of land professionals and spatial data infrastructure in disaster risk reduction concluded here today, urging the government to enact and implement a comprehensive land use policy.

The workshop adopted a six-point resolution stating that appropriate land allocation, land readjustment and security of land tenure were very important for rescue, rehabilitation and reconstruction efforts in a post disaster setting, and therefore, the government needed to formulate, enact and implement a comprehensive land use policy, which specifically addresses these issues.

“The lack/weakness of policies and institutional arrangements like overlaps/duplication of responsibility are key hurdles to humanitarian response during a disaster as well as its aftermath,” the workshop said in its resolution.

It is, the resolution said, often experienced and seen that the policies are rarely implemented effectively and cooperation among the stakeholders is weak. “Therefore, there is a recommendation to design a multi-stakeholder and action-oriented framework adopting international land governance framework such as land governance assessment framework developed by World Bank, which ensures clear and crisp action points, clear and shared responsibility among various stakeholders, implementation timeline and monitoring system,” says the resolution.

It further said that intervention towards vulnerable groups from land perspective was mandatory. “The legally, socially or economically disadvantaged groups of people are most vulnerable to disaster, leading them towards legally, socially or economically less resilience groups.

Therefore, the land administration system should be pro-poor, gender friendly and responsive to marginalised group of people in the society who are vulnerable to disaster,” read the resolution.

The workshop recommended the government to adopt the concept of fit-for-purpose land administration and several other tools like Social Tenure Domain Model , approaches like continuum of land rights and Gender Evaluation Criteria developed by Global Land Tool Network.

It said spatial data on the availability of open spaces for rescue and temporary shelters, identification of appropriate land for safe and secure resettlement of the victim, land use data, vulnerability and risk maps, relocation and readjustment of land for the buildings and other infrastructure were needed for post disaster rehabilitation and reconstruction.

The resolution also said that the fundamental base of geo-spatial data, the national geodetic datum had been destroyed due to the devastating earthquake and hence it was essential to reestablish and strengthen the datum with modern four dimensional dynamic datum with a network of active CORS stations that could also be useful in studies of seismic activities.

The workshop recommended adopting appropriate tools and techniques for accurate and timely geo-information acquisition, processing, visualisation and dissemination.