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Locally Present Land Tenure Typology in Nepal
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Land is not only the natural resource generating economically productive base for its inhabitants but also one of the fundamental sources of culture, social relations, political power, identity and belongingness for the human society. Therefore, land tenure is termed as ‘a relation of human beings, individual and groups, to the soil they cultivate and use’ The evolution of land tenure system in Nepal was quite unique as its history was; and, formal cadastral survey was a recent accomplishment that not only outdated the previous informal and customary tenure systems but also overlooked various locally present tenure types resulting into denial of tenure right of marginalized people and indigenous people in particular. Therefore, while exploring the tenure typologies, we should look at how people themselves relate to the land they belong to. This study, in addition to the review of the secondary sources, is primarily based on qualitative information collected through indepth key informant interviews (KIIs) and focus group discussion (FGDs) with local farmers, landowners and other key stakeholders from different parts of the country. In each stage of the gradual evolution of the land tenure system Executive Summary A Study Report 15 in the country, we see a continuum with a bundle of rights and duties well defined by the communities; and the use of land was not arbitrary. A broader socially perceived land tenure was the primitive but most dominant form of land tenure in most parts of the country; which continued even after the land survey because some of the tenure-holders categorically escaped titling of those land that were relatively less productive or people were trying to avoid land tax to the government.
This study identifies the three major categories of land tenure: formal, informal and customary tenure. Formal type refers to those tenures that have legal recognition and have been addressed in the related title documents about their status, whereas, informal type includes that particular type of land tenure where there may be a social or legal basis but not yet formally registered and legally titled. Customary tenure is customarily recognized by the members of the concerned community and is regulated by the customary institution. Generally, in literature, yet another type of tenure is recognized, that is, non-formal. Non-formal, informal and encroachments are perceived differently by different people. In non-formal tenure type, land users have legal basis and are socially recognized. Informal tenure holders may not have legal basis but holds social recognition of some degree. Government may often term them as ‘encroaches’. However, given the empirical evidences from the field, despite some differences, this report urges such tenure type should be dealt under the informal category.
#LocallyPresent #LandtenuretypologyinNepal
UN HABITAT/ GON ,   (2018 )
Type / Script:
Progress Report in English
Thematic Group:
 UNHABITAT : Human Settlements
03.06.00  -  Land, Plant And Soil Resources
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