The three major land registration systems which developed are [1]:

Why land registration is importantEdit

Land regisrtation is important because [1]:

  • As populations gradually grew in most societies, land became an increasingly scarce resource and there are various types of rights to use the land developed. Hence registration is important to clarify ownership and minimize disputes.
  • Land registration is also important for governments for collecting property taxes. Without knowing who owns the land and what that land is being used for, governments cannot levy property taxes.

An efficient land registration system (juridical cadastre) consists of two parts[1]:

  • The first part is a written record or register with information on each parcel, such as owner and the rights of the land, while the second part includes a detailed description of the parcel in the form of a map or survey measurements.
  • The second part is normally cross-referenced with the first. When the records and descriptions are combined, then the land registration system provides considerable benefits.

Benefit of land registrationEdit

Some of the major benefits are listed below[1]:

  • Security of ownership and tenure rights. This is the most important impact. It reduces the amount of land disputes which currently is a major issue in developing countries. The security of ownership also stimulates land development.
  • More efficient land transfers. The costs of delays for permits is a serious constraint in most developing countries, and an efficient registration system makes transfers easier, less expensive and more secure.
  • Security of credit. The land title can be used as collateral for loans. This security has a positive impact on the productivity of the land since it enables the release of major financial resources for investment in the land.
  • Public control of land markets and intervention. Policies such as land redistribution and control over foreign land ownership are difficult to implement without a functioning land registration system.
  • Support for the land taxation system. The expenses for improving the cadastral system would, in actual fact, quickly be covered by increased property tax revenues.
  • Improved land use and management. It can directly provide better information on land ownership and rights for physical planning as well as facilitate the development of other planning tools such as information banks covering land use, land values, population etc. It can also provide a tool to restrict certain land uses with a negative environmental impact

Developing CountriesEdit

It has been recommended that developing countries should use progressive systems. This means that when a new cadastral/land registration system is introduced, or an old improved, its design should be such that, although technically simple, it can be upgraded easily and is readily adaptable. However, before setting up a progressive system it is necessary to assess the existing system and define the objectives for improvement[1].


  1. 1.0 1.1 1.2 1.3 1.4 UN-ESCAP (1998) Urban Land Policies for the Uninitiated