Land and Global Land Tool Network

Land and GLTN (Global Land tool Network)

UN-Habitat has engaged in a dedicated land sector programme in Nepal since 2012 with the UN Peace Building funding UNPFN and UNPBF in the aftermath of Nepal’s civil war. Through the peace guided interventions such as “Catalytic Support on Land Issues” and “Empowering Women 4 Women: Access to Land for Sustainable Peace in Nepal'', UN-Habitat supported in engaging stakeholders through the complex land issues in the country, especially in support for the poor, marginalized and vulnerable communities. Current technical assistance in the land tenure issues since late September 2016 is provided through the GLTN initiatives to contribute to progressive land reform and land management.


Support to Land Reform in Nepal and Land Tenure Initiative in Asia Pacific


Project background: 

The Post Disaster Needs Assessment (PDNA) and the Post Disaster Reconstruction Framework (PDRF) recognized addressing to land and tenure as one of the important issues to be addressed during post-earthquake recovery and reconstruction in the aftermath of the 2015 massive earthquake. National Reconstruction Authority (NRA) set three conditions for recognizing beneficiaries eligible for Government grant for housing reconstruction and rehabilitation- (1) Citizenship Certificate, (2) Certification of damage of house from the survey, and (3) Land Ownership Certificate. Considering that there were some unregistered and non-formal land holdings, a fast-track land registration process was conceptualized to facilitate expediting housing grant and reconstruction process. No consideration was made for informal tenure holdings. NRA as well recognized the issue of relocation from vulnerable sites, estimated some 500 in number throughout the country, and encouraged ‘build back better’ communities through integrated settlement planning. 

While these three issues were well conceptualized there was no evidence base for land tenure typology of earthquake victims. There was a clear lack of Fit-For-Purpose methodology for data collection and information handling mainly on identification, verification and recording (IVR) of informal tenure holdings. In this line, the project was initiated with the following objectives:

Project objectives:

The overall objectives under this initiative are as following:

1. Support land reform interventions in Nepal including: a). land policy development and consultation process and b). strategy development for Fit-For-Purpose Land Administration.

2. Support interventions towards the improvement of earthquake recovery and resilience for affected communities for sustainable and improved livelihoods in at least three affected villages in Dolakha district within the VGGTs framework and GLTN objectives.

3. Support to enhance regional capacity, partnership and knowledge towards securing land and property rights for all through the Regional Land tenure Initiative in Asia-Pacific. 

The extension of support to land reform in Nepal was initiated with the following objective.

4. Support towards implementation of Fit-For-Purpose Land Administration (FFPLA) Country Strategy through pilot implementation, policy support and capacity development.

The list of piloting areas are as follows regarding activities related to post disaster in Dolakha in partnership with local partner HURADEC, District Survey Office- Dolakha and Kadaster International.  




Project Activity


Panipokhari/ Boshimpa (Chhemawati Area)

Bhimeshwor Municipality

Relocation/ Integrated Settlement planning (ISP)



Bigu Rural Municipality

Relocation/ Integrated Settlement planning (ISP)


Dihi and Phasmi

(Jilu Area)

Bhimeshwor Municipality

Integrated Settlement planning (ISP)


Phulappa Area

Bhimeshwor Municipality

IVR of informal tenure holdings


After completion of piloting FFP tools in post disaster, it was initiated to implement in other areas. Well before the promulgation of the Constitution and the 2015 Gorkha Earthquake, some initiation was undertaken by Ministry of Land Reform and Management (MOLRM) now reconstituted into Ministry of Land Management, Cooperatives and Poverty Alleviation (MoLMCPA) to develop a comprehensive Land Policy document. The draft needed to be thoroughly revised considering the new development. The process also required intensive consultations at different stakeholder’s levels. UN-Habitat supported in this process to develop a draft land policy which is pro-poor, gender-responsive and adheres to the principle of ‘Securing Land and Property Rights for All’. 

Land policy and Fit- For-Purpose (FFP) approach for land policy implementation was the focus, while as a baseline information to understand the land, property and tenure issues a study into the locally existing land tenure typology was undertaken. The lessons learnt from the post disaster project catalyzed to scale up to IVR of informal tenure holdings by applying STDM tool for Municipality Level land administration for improved tenure security. 

It has been implemented at national, regional and few selected municipalities upon request from the concerned municipalities i.e., Ratnanagar, Belaka, Bharatpur, Kankai, Dangisharan and at least other 10 priority municipalities of Land Issues Resolving Commission-LIRC in partnership with implementing partners like LUMANTI and CSRC, MoLMCPA, and concerned municipalities. Latest model developed is for the Municipality and the Government to undertake the major project funding while UN-Habitat/ GLTN provide their technical support.

UN-Habitat/ GLTN in cooperation with partners is implementing the following major activities:

1. Research on Typology of Locally present Land Tenure Categories

2. Support to National Land Policy development

3. Support to Develop a Fit for Purpose Land Administration Country Strategy for Nepal

4. Implementation of FFP approach for IVR of landless, slum dwellers and informal land tenure holders and applying STDM tools

5. Land Context Mapping Guidelines applying STDM tools and dissemination.

6. “Land Information System (LIS): System Specification and Project Road Map” documentation.

7. Support to Land Information System development for scale up.


The interventions and the contributions from GLTN/ UN-Habitat a few strategic outcomes have been achieved in support of tenure security for all in Nepal. Notable among them are:

·        Government of Nepal approved National Land Policy, 2019

·     Land Act (Seventh Amendment) and the Housing Rights Act were enacted to implement the constitutional provisions of “land to the landless Dalits” and “right to adequate housing”.

·   Land Use Act and the Land Act (Eighth Amendment) were enacted. The Acts are related to improve general land governance and have provisions in support to the implementation of land Policy and FFP approach. The Land Act (Eighth Amendment) and Land Rules (Eighteenth Amendment) provide for allocation of land to the landless and regularization of informal tenure up to designated size.

·      To implement the provisions of allocation of land to the landless and regularization of informal tenure, Land Issues Resolving Commission (called Land Commission) has been commissioned by the Government. For the purpose the Land Commission has prioritized application of FFP approach. The Commission has benefited from the results of the piloting of STDM in different municipalities and in the implementation of the FFP approach.

The legislative and institutional framework are in place and more technical support in the implementation are continued.