LANDNET AMERICAS A Virtual Office for the Summit of the Americas Property Systems Initiative www.LandNetAmericas.org Mariana Herrera (OAS) in coordination with Jolyne Sanjak (USAID/LAC) Why Property Registration? To provide those who have informal property rights or limited access to property with economic opportunity, better governance and sociopolitical participation. Main issues in property registration and land management in the Hemisphere: large numbers of informal property holders insecurity of indigenous property rights lack of adequate land dispute resolution mechanisms centralization of authority complicated land administration systems lack of information and disorderly data on property rights Summit of the Americas Process Heads of Governments declare property registration as key to Poverty Alleviation. Property registry reform influences Summit goals: justice, human rights, gender equality, education and economic integration. Second Summit of the Americas Santiago, Chile 1998 Heads of Governments addressed the issue “Eradication of Poverty and Discrimination” the most relevant to the work outlined in the Plan of Action. To rationalize and standardize their respective national property registration systems, Member States agreed: adopting transparent, simplified procedures disseminating information utilizing, whenever feasible, state-of-the-art technologies incorporating alternative dispute resolution mechanisms avoiding overlapping administrative fees Third Summit of the Americas Quebec, Canada 2001 Under the mandate “Growth with Equity”: States call for focus on legal reforms. Request multilateral cooperation institutions to continue supporting and strengthening, their financial and technical assistance programs. Special Summit of the Americas Monterrey, Mexico 2004 The heads of State and Government from the Americas agreed on strengthening property rights and expand the use of property as collateral. The Inter-Summit Property Systems Initiative (IPSI) In response to the Summit mandate, the U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID) and the Government of El Salvador, in partnership with the Organization of American States (OAS), created IPSI. IPSI’s Objectives: Help countries rationalize and modernize their property registration systems. Improve coordination among donors, government agencies and civil society. Foster consensus building among client governments, donors and partners through dialogue and information sharing. Help shape donor projects related to property registration. Mobilize civil society resources towards achieving the property registration goals. IPSI’s activities to date: Initiated in 1998 with creation of website Property-Registration.org as tool for sharing information and supporting research. Comparative study of Land Markets in C.A. Organized regional Policy Dialogue Forum in C.A. which led to creation of Permanent Council of Property Registrars for C.A. and Panama. In 2002, transformed this tool from a static web-page to a „community of practice‟: LandNetAmericas.org What is LandNetAmericas.org? IPSI‟s new interactive community of practice is called LandNet Americas, url: LandNetAmericas.org Co-branded, bilingual portal (English- Spanish) established with support from multilateral organizations (IDB, GTZ and WB), NGOs and private organizations -- others welcome! LandNetAmericas offers: Information on the Summit of the Americas mandates and implementation review process Regular updates of significant events and documents Direct access for registered users to upload their documents, news and events to the site Streamlined searching through the Knowledge Center. A platform for collaboration that avoids duplication of efforts -- this virtual office belongs to the community rather than any one member! Key Areas Conflict and alternative dispute resolution Decentralization Indigenous peoples and communal tenure Land administration Land policy Land tenure Legal frameworks Market and credit access Modernization of the cadastre and registry Regularization of property rights Knowledge Center Sources of information: International development donors: initial population of database by Jolyne Sanjak (USAID) and the Land Tenure Center (Beverly Phillips and Lynn Burns.) Multilateral organizations: continual search and investigation to update archives by OAS staff (Natasha Sacouman and Mariana Herrera.) Civil society organizations: contributions by community groups, such as the Central American Virtual Library (BiViCAT), our focal point in the region. Private foundations: Development Gateway‟s AiDA database automatically uploads information …this feature could be repeated with other databases if interested partners are found. Final Remarks The technical bases for creating comprehensive and modern property information systems are known. Introducing appropriate institutional change remains the big challenge. We invite you to participate in our community of practice at LandNetAmericas.org, where you will be able to interact directly with policy experts, advisors and other members of the public. Please Visit Us!