Ministry of Land Management,

Urban Planning and Construction



Intervention of

H.E. Mr. Im Chhun Lim,

Minister, Ministry of Land Management,

Urban Planning and Construction

6th Consultative Group Meeting


June 19-21, 2002
Phnom Penh


- Religion - King




   Ministry of Land Management,
Urban Planning and Construction

Intervention of H.E. Im Chhun Lim,

Minister of Land Management, Urban Planning and Construction

to the Consultative Group Meeting on Cambodia

June 19-21 2002


1.    Introduction.

To achieve the objectives of poverty reduction, economic development and good governance. the government accords priority to the management of natural resources, in which the management of land plays a leading role.

The core program involves the development of the land policy and legal framework for property rights, the beginning of systematic land registration. the improvement of the management of State land, grants of social concessions to the landless the reform of land taxation, the establishment of land use planning procedures, identification of the main economic zones for development and the establishment of housing and resettlement policy.

2.    Achievements in 2001-2002.

Land Policy and Legislation

The enactment of the Land Law on 30 August 2001 sets a strong direction for implementing and enforcing this program. It provide legal protection to establish the security of land tenure. It provides a fundamental basis for the reduction of land disputes. It facilitates land management by clarifying the ownership regime for land and creating protection for state property. To accompany implementation of the Land Law, and provide overall guidance in the land sector, the Council of Land Policy approved an Interim Land Policy Framework document in May 2002.

Other complementary legal regulations for implementing the Land Law are being prepared. Three sub-decrees have been approved during the past months of 2002: the sub-decree on functioning and organizing of the Cadastral Commission (non-court dispute resolution), the sub-decree on sporadic registration, and the sub-decree on the procedure for systematic registration and creation of the Cadastral Index Map. During 2001 government has also issued a note about stopping illegal possession, and a set of ministerial instructions (prakas) regarding service fees for land registration.

Other sub-decrees of the Land Law which are now beginning preparation are the sub-decree on social concessions, the sub-decree on economic concessions, and the sub-decree on reduction of areas of economic concession. The next sub-decree to be finished will be the sub-decree on social concessions. This will enable land distribution to more ahead at the same time as improvements in land administration and land management. Ministerial instructions on procedures for land dispute investigation and resolution through the Cadastral Commission. procedures for implementing land registration, and document management in the cadastral registry will be completed soon. A policy document regarding land use planning at the commune level is also under preparation to support the Government’s policy of decentralization.

To implement these policies and fill remaining gaps, during 2001-2002, thanks to the Japanese PHRD Grant the MLMUPC completed preparations for the Land Management and Administration Project, which was made effective in June of 2002. This multilateral project is supported by the World Bank, the Government of Germany and the Government of Finland. It is based on the pilot GTZ Land Management Project and the Cambodian Cadastral Project supported by the Government of Finland. LMAP will focuses on five components: i) development of land policy and legal framework; 2) institutional development; 3) implementation of land titling and development of land registration; 4) strengthening land dispute resolution; 5) land management. LMAP will last for five years. It will cover 11 provinces and municipalities, involve about 800 staff and is expected to issue titles to 1 million parcels. The first component includes a pilot project on land distribution.

Land Administration

Land administration, land management and land distribution are intended to move forward in parallel. In terms of land administration, the LMAP predecessor projects have mapped and adjudicated 80.000 parcels. Of these, 40.000 have been publicly displayed for verification. Definite title to 40.000 parcels will be provided for 2002. The immediate focus of work is to issue titles for lands which have already been mapped- and adjudicated.

Regarding land dispute resolution, Government is now moving ahead to establish the decentralized Cadastral Commissions at three administrative levels (district, province. national), and will train the staff of the Cadastral Commissions on procedures to solve land disputes. The Cadastral Commission has a limited mandate and a preliminary right to decide about the recognition of the lawful possessor of unregistered immovable property.

Land Management

In order to protect the environment and manage the use of the natural resources for sustainable economic development, the government is involved in creating an integrated coastal zone management system in the coastal area with support from Danish Government. Activities in 2001-2002 focused on training personnel for the coastal zone in land management techniques. Government is also initiating the implementation of a pilot project on State land inventory in the districts of Phnom Sruoch (Kampong Speu) and Chhouk (Kampot). In order to support the decentralized Commune Councils, the central government intends to promote land use planning at local levels. Currently the MLMUPC is engaged in ongoing training about participatory land use planning techniques (PLUP) in Kampot and Kratie. At the same time, the processes of delimiting administrative commune boundaries and land use planning in the area of high economic potential are under preparation. With the support of LMAP an approach to land classification and mapping is now under discussion with other institutions and partners. A draft Housing Policy document has been prepared which focuses on the shelter needs of the poor.

Land Distribution

Based on the new Land Law the practice of possession through occupation is legally ended. The possessions will be replaced by the provision of State land to the user through social concessions for residential or agricultural purposes. Currently, the Royal Government is preparing a sub-decree to regulate social concessions and will hold consultations with stakeholders about this issue in July and August 2002. LMAP will support a study and pilot project on land distribution to help guide implementation. In the meantime, measures are being taken to identify the private land of the State for distribution to in both cases of social and economic concessions. One of the first steps is the acquisition of new aerial photography.

Institutional Development

So far 222 provincial staffs received training in cadastral techniques. At the starting of LMAP project around 250 staffs will receive training on the management and implementation of the project. To accompany the dissemination of the Land Law, the staffs of the Cadastral Commission are going to receive training on the procedures of land dispute settlement. The program of training of trainers on the Land Law is ongoing with technical assistance provided by the ADB. A new academic program called the Faculty of Land Management and Administration will be created under LMAP at the Royal University of Agriculture.

We will apply the deconcentration principle of granting land registration competence to the provinces which implement the project such as Takeo, Khampong Thom, Kampot, Sihanoukville. We are involved in preparing a procedure for the management of cadastral documents at the commune level.

3.    Next Steps 2002-2003:

Land Policy and Legislation:

During 2002-2003 we will continue to resolve outstanding policy issues in order to realize a Comprehensive Land Policy Framework. The priority tasks to be performed are:

  • Continue to prepare the complementary sub-decree for implementing Land Law.

»   Draft of social concessions sub-decree
»  Draft of sub-decree on economic concessions with Ministry of Agriculture. Forestry and Fisheries.
»  Draft of sub-decree on reduction of economic concessions with Ministry of Agriculture. Forestry and Fisheries

  • Ensure harmonization of Land Law and natural resource laws.

  • Approve policy document on Housing Policy for urban and rural areas.

  • Approve policy document on Land Use Planning for Decentralized Commune Governance.

  • Preparation of policy document for Resettlement Policy

  • Elaborate Ministerial Instructions regarding:

»   Procedure for land dispute resolution
»   Access and storage of registry documents
»   Procedures of land registration
»   Land use planning for the decentralized commune

Land Administration:

In the area of land administration the following tasks are priorities:

  • Implement LMAP programmed activity including establishment of the project management systems. mobilization of human resources, procurement of equipment, and selection of operational sites.

  • Elimination of backlog of land titles and continuation of systematic land registration through LMAP.

  • Continue to provide title in the pilot project areas where data is already collected, and make public display.

  • Expand systematic registration into new areas.

  • Continue to scan existing aerial photography for digital maps and acquire new aerial photography.

  • Review and strengthening of the sporadic registration system.

Land Management:

In the area of land management. the priority tasks in the next year are the following:

  • Land use planning for Integrated Coastal Zone Management in the coastal zone.
  • Implement the pilot project on land use planning in the commune and establish guidelines on land use planning at the commune level.
  • Elaborate the criteria and instructions for delimiting the actual administrative commune boundaries.
  • Continue training about participatory land use planning (PLUP).
  • Implement the pilot project on state land inventory in two Districts.

Land distribution

In the area of land distribution, the next steps are:

  • Carry out the studies and consultation for drafting sub-decrees on social concession and develop procedure for land identification from the pilot project on State land inventory.
  • Initiate pilot project on land distribution within LMAP.

Institutional strengthening

Implementing these reforms cannot occur without strengthening our institution and building human resource capacity. To accomplish we will carry out the following steps in the coming year:

  • Training staff for the project according to the plan for the first five years (around 800 people).
  • Continue to disseminate the Land Law and implement the training of trainers program about the Land Law.
  • Deconcentrate the authority to the provinces which are implementing the project.
  • Establish the Cadastral Commission at different levels. (staff, training, procedure, equipment)
  • Strengthen the office of Project Management at different levels.
  • Strengthen the Secretariat of CLP.

4.    Conclusion.

The period 2001-2002 has been a time of focused work to solve the land issues in Cambodia. The preparation and discussion of previous years is now being realized in specific policies, legislation and programs of action. Our efforts in land administration, land management and land distribution are moving forward in parallel. Each is necessary for the success of the others.

In order to implement these steps effectively we are continuing to assess our needs and priorities at each step. We see more clearly the scale of effort required in each area. While our core program is now under implementation, we will need the continued support from the international community and other Cambodian partners to address evolving needs, such as the spatial component of decentralizing governance, the complexities of urban development, and the challenge of creating linkages between land and other sectoral reforms.

The steps we have already completed show that the government is committed to economic development with equity, sustainability and good governance in the land sector. By continuing on the current path, land management for economic development with equity and sustainability will become a reality in Cambodia.

Thank you for your attention!


Government Action Plan II. 2002-2003. Ministry of Land Management Urban Planning nd Construction

Activity Area

Responsible Agency

Specific Action

Donor Support

Development of Land Legislation and Legal Framework

Strengthen Land Registration System

Strengthen Institutional Capacity

Strengthen Mechanisms for Dispute Resolution

Establish the Participatory Procedure for Strengthening Land Management

Establish land distribution mechanism









•  Enact the Interim Land Policy Framework
•  Continue to develop the Comprehensive Land Policy Framework

   Enact Housing Policy

   Elaborate policy document on Commune land use planning

   Elaborate Resettlement Policy

   Continue to develop the complementary laws, regulation and
   legislation for implementation of Land Law, including:
      - Sub-decree on social concessions
      - Sub-decree on reduction of existing agricultural concessions
      - Instructions on procedure of Cadastral Commission
      - Procedure for storage and filing of cadastral documents
      - Guideline on procedures for land registration

•  Implement systematic land registration system in six provinces 
   and municipalities
•  Develop procedure for sporadic registration
•  Establish Digital Map for All Departments of Ministry

•  Staff training for project management and implementation
•  Deconcentration of Cadastral Administration to tour provinces
•  Decentralization of management of cadastral documents of the
•  Training and development of private sector in land surveying

•  Establish Cadastral Commissions at all levels
•  Training in dispute resolution procedures
•  Support to disadvantaged groups in disputes

•  Establish land use plans for the coastal zone
•  Establish state land inventory in Phnom Sruoch (Kampong Speu) 
   and Chhouk (Kampot)
•  Implement support to the commune level for land use Planning
      - Establish criteria for commune land use maps
      - Study criteria of land classification
      - Prepare commune land use plans

•  Pilot project on land distribution within framework of subdecree 
   on social concessions
LMAP (WB, GTZ, Govt. of Finland)










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