Roundtable Discussion on Land Administration in Libya
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Roundtable Discussion on Land Administration in Libya

The findings and recommendations of a new land administration report were recently reviewed and discussed in Tripoli, Libya, by government representatives, civil society, UN officials, private sector representatives and technical experts. The report, titled 'Land Administration and Land Rights in Libya', was prepared by UN-Habitat and the Global Land Tool Network (GLTN).

The event was organized by the Regional Centre for Remote Sensing of North African States (CRTEAN) and UN-Habitat, in partnership with the Ministry of Housing and Urban Utilities of Libya and with the support of the Ministry for Economic Cooperation and Development (BMZ) of Germany.

Land Tenure Insecurity

The reports states that Libya has solid legal, institutional and administrative foundations for land management and land administration and rich spatial planning and property registration traditions. However, people in Libya currently face widespread land tenure insecurity, encroachment and illegal appropriation of private and public properties, and unaffordable land and housing prices. The dysfunctional land registration and land administration, where most transactions are informal since the suspension of land registration in 2011, is a major contributor to these problems.

The hike in the cost of lands and the property registration dysfunctionalities severely constrain public and private investments, negatively affecting economic development and the quality of life of the 80% of people living in urban centres. Unregulated urban expansion is creating large and unserviced informal settlements in urban fringes at the expense of agricultural areas and increasing land degradation and desertification.

Re-establishing Land Management

The conclusion from the report and the discussions is that, to ensure peace, stability and socio-economic development, Libya’s institutions, non-governmental partners and the international community must come together to address these challenges and re-establish a functioning land management and land administration system.

Specific recommendations include the establishment of a nationally led multistakeholder process for the reform of the land sector and the preparation of a national land administration strategy that incorporates principles of fit-for-purpose land administration and successful national and international experiences. Lifting the suspension of the land and property registration and the resolution of disputes over land ownership and land use rights are high priorities, to unlock investments of private and public actors and bring the peace dividends down to the people of Libya.

Roundtable discussion on land administration and land rights in Libya. (Courtesy: GLTN)

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