Kathmandu - The formulation of a comprehensive land act was the central theme of a conference on land issues held in Kathmandu on Thursday. The conference, ‘Post Conflict Land Issues and Land Management in the Emerging Political Context’, was jointly organized by the International Organization for Migration (IOM), the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) and the United Nations Human Settlements Programme (UN Habitat) in conjunction with the Ministry of Land and Reform Management (MoLRM) and the Ministry of Peace and Reconstruction.
In Nepal, land issues have been entrenched in society for centuries and were one of the root causes of the ten-year armed conflict. Land reform is recognized as a crucial step in today’s peacebuilding process, and the progress that the county made last November with the successful Constituent Assembly election has accelerated the public expectation that a solution benefitting all citizens will be reached.
“Along with the peacebuilding process, Nepal is also undertaking restructuring of its governance system. While talking about land issues in this context, a suitable land act is the most important component for providing efficient service delivery.” said Mr. Krishna Raj BC, Officiating Secretary of the MoLRM.
In the conference, IOM shared its global experiences in land and property return mechanisms and programmes including the restitution of property rights to vulnerable populations and their impact on the peace process. UNDP hosted a session in which political party representatives, together with civil society leaders, shared their visions of how the new government could address land issues. UN Habitat highlighted the nexus between conflict and land management, and highlighted the importance of participatory land use planning as a tool for sustainable land management.
Throughout the sessions, a wide range of stakeholders, including political parties, government agencies, civil society organizations, donors and development partners were encouraged to deliberate land issues more comprehensively while examining international best practices of post-conflict land management and land use planning.
“Nepal is on the way to building a peace process and has many more issues related to land that have to be addressed in this post conflict scenario. Vision and commitment of the political parties is the most essential element in reaching a resolution on land issues,” emphasized Mr. Krishna Raj BC.
The conference was held as part of the project “Catalytic Support on Land Issues” implemented in partnership with IOM, UNDP and UN Habitat with funding from the United Nations Peacebuilding Fund, a global UN multi-donor trust fund supported by over 50 international donors. These funds are managed through the UN Peace Fund for Nepal. This project aims to support the formulation of a comprehensive land act for the country.
For more information, please contact: