Land and Rural Development Policy Reforms in Colombia: The Path to Peace


Paper prepared for presentation at the “2016 WORLD BANK CONFERENCE ON LAND AND POVERTY,” The World Bank—Washington DC, March 14-18, 2016.

Authors: Kevin Barthel, Vanessa Cespedes, Beatriz Salazar, Ricardo Torres, Margarita Varón – USAID/Colombia Land and Rural Development Program (LRDP)

The current state of land tenure is one of the factors that have contributed to the persistence of the Colombian conflict for more than forty years. RRI and the Mission for the Transformation of the Countryside jointly propose significant policy measures to transform the OSPR. The National Development Plan and the decrees issued by the President have taken the first steps towards its implementation.

However, a detailed review of the commitments made in the RRI and the recommendations in Mission for the Transformation of the Countryside bring to light the need to move forward in the design and implementation of additional measures such as: (i) the design and issuance of a new legal framework that allows the National Land Agency to meet its commitments; (ii) the design and creation of an agrarian jurisdiction; (iii) a participatory process to feed back into this policy framework; and (iv) a new operational framework that facilitates the Government’s execution of the OSPR in massive supply processes and with economies of scale that begin with the implementation of a true multipurpose cadaster, among others.

Adequate and careful planning and the efficient implementation of this package of measures will be the condition for these land-related adjustments to contribute towards meeting the ambitious goals set forth by the government, which are moving in the right direction towards building long-lasting and stable peace in Colombia.

Key Words: Peace Process, Land Policy, Restitution, Information Technology, Land Fund