The Bolivia Land Titling Program (BLTP) helped Bolivia’s National Agrarian Reform Institute and its Property Registry System to develop a low-cost model to title and register more than 470,000 hectares containing more than 25,000 properties. The activity improved security of property rights and to expanded individual access to land markets and the full benefits of land assets. The project developed and validated a massive low-cost titling process — the results of which are accessible on the Internet — that can be applied throughout the country. Land titling fostered by the project helps farmers receive loans and encourages them to abandon illicit crops, while strengthening government institutions at all levels.
The objective of the activity is to significantly improve security of property rights and expand individual access to land markets and to the full benefits of their land assets. To achieve this objective, the project is supporting the National Institute of Agrarian Reform (INRA) and the Property Registry System (DDRR) in their respective efforts to title and register properties in the Cochabamba Tropics. The project provides technical assistance to INRA Cochabamba and the technical office of Villa Tunari, INRA Nacional, and the Sacaba offices of DDRR to strengthen and develop their institutional capacity to issue and register property titles.
Given the significant delays experienced this quarter, INRA has expressed the intention to adjust the targets programmed for the current and upcoming period which will impact the number of brigades and equipment needs for implementation. The project is working to procure the necessary equipment for the INRA brigades.
The following is a summary of the most important events that took place during the first quarter of 2007:
- In the framework of the new National Land Titling Plan, in the end of January, INRA’s Nacional Director, agreed to move the post field operations and the Sistema Integrado de Saneamiento y Titulación (SIST) to the Villa Tunari offices. This shift – changing the base of operations of all personnel to the implementation area – is a pilot program that aims to increase the efficiency of services and facilitate the process by resolving conflicts in the field, coordinating activities with the municipalities, and having INRA Nacional focus only on the titling activities in the process. The project has been taking the necessary steps to create favorable conditions for the smooth functioning of INRA’s operating units in Villa Tunari. Similarly, the project made all the technological arrangements for field implementation with the SIST, also as a pilot process.
- After meeting with the mayor of the Villa Tunari municipality, Feliciano Mamani, and discussing the proposed construction of a rural cadastre – part of the National Land Titling Plan — the project received an official request for support with the regularization and titling of this zone on behalf of the municipality. The collaborative effort regarding the elaboration and transferal of the rural cadastre to the municipality will be developed as a pilot for use at a national level. In late March, Kevin Barthel and Jorge Otero undertook an assignment to evaluate and formalize the proposal for the pilot rural cadastre in the Villa Tunari municipality.
- As part of the initiative overcome bottlenecks in the regularization and titling process, the Project has reinitiated support to the office of Derechos Reales in Sacaba by contracting three judicial functionaries given the anticipated increase in registration activities during the present and upcoming periods.
- Coordination with the Oficina Agraria de la Presidencia and the Superintendencia Agraria was also reactivated this quarter for the similar reasons listed above. The project contracted one person to work exclusively on INRA’s requests dealing with the Tropic of Cochabamba.
- In addition to the Otero and Barthel assignments, Walter Galindo also undertook an assignment this quarter to assess the feasibility of regularization activities in large areas and the transition of post-field activities to the areas of implementation. Mariana Mendoza was also contracted to determine the implications of the changes in the legal instruments related to regularization and titling in Bolivia with regard to the activities developed by the project.
- Among the various visits hosted by the Project during the quarter, the visit from INRA Nacional functionaries accompanied by Inter-American Development Bank (IADB) personnel to learn about the project’s experiences and tools developed for the administration of resources in support of regularization and titling is of particular importance.
- Another important high profile visit that took place during this quarter was that of the new director of Alternative Development in USAID/Bolivia, Mary Norris and Chemonics’ president, Richard Dreiman. Both traveled to BLTP’s offices in Villa Tunari and participated in the presentation and exposition of the project’s activities in the region.
- Also as part of ARCo’s strategy to support the Vice ministry of Coca and Integral Development, the Unidad de Desarrollo Integral (UDI) was established in the Cochabamba Tropics with headquarters in Villa Tunari. Par of the units mandate is to provide follow up to projects implemented in the zone. As such, they have planned periodic coordination meetings to obtain timely information regarding the activities of the projects working in the area.