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Afghanistan: Land

Volume 458: debated on Monday 19 March 2007

To ask the Secretary of State for International Development whether the process of the registration of land of all administrative units and the registration of titles was completed for all major urban areas in Afghanistan by the end of 2010 in accordance with the target of the London Compact of 2006; whether he expects the process to have been completed for all other areas by the end of 2008; and what further progress he expects to be made towards these targets by the end of 2007. (127528)

The Government of Afghanistan has revised its benchmark on land registration and titling, which now reads as follows:

“a process for registration of land in all administrative units and the registration of land titles will be started for all major urban areas by end-2006 and all other areas by end-2008. A fair system for settlement of land disputes will be in place by end-2007. Registration for rural land will be under way by end-2007”.

The revised end-2006 benchmarks for registration of land and land titles in all urban areas have not been met. However, a number of steps have been taken as follows:

A white paper on formalisation of informal property rights was prepared and approved by the Ministry of Urban Development (MoUD). The recommendations made by the White Paper have been updated and incorporated in the draft land policy;

A property rights certification process has been piloted in two districts of Kabul, prior to the formalisation of land tenure;

The land register and survey that defines or re-establishes boundaries of public and/or private land for purposes of ownership and taxation is being modernised;

A Land Information System database has been established in Kabul, in collaboration with key stakeholders;

The Supreme Court has agreed to simplify the process for property transfer; and

The property archives in 15 out of 34 provinces have been reorganised and staff have been retrained in document management and security.

Looking forward, the Government of Afghanistan has committed to approving a comprehensive land policy by April 2007. This will provide guidance on dealing with crucial issues such as land grabbing, informal development, and the allocation and management of land. The Government has also committed to drafting the legislation needed to clarify and then improve the land tenure security of urban residents by April 2007. Finally, the Government has renewed its commitment to reform the system for settlement of land disputes, and improve registration of rural land by the end of 2007.