Creating resilience to natural disasters through FFP land administration – an application in Nepal

E.M. Unger*, Raja Ram Chhatkuli, D. Antonio, C.H.J. Lemmen, J.A. Zevenbergen, Rohan Mark Bennett, Paula Dijkstra

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to conferencePaper

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Information on people to land relationships - documented in a land administration system - is crucial in any natural disaster response. This work explores how Fit-For-Purpose approaches and interventions in Land Administration (FFP LA) can be used in the process of earthquake recovery, to improve the community resilience. Four affected communities from the April 2015 earthquake in the Dolakha district of Nepal are considered. The massive 7.6 magnitude earthquake struck Nepal on 25 April 2015 and was followed by subsequent aftershocks, larger than magnitude 4. Due to landslides, ruptures and destabilization almost five hundred settlements are considered in the need for relocation. The Nepal Government experiences problems in the recovery and reconstruction assistance to the earthquake victims. This concerned housing affected communities, especially people without any land documents. Therefore, innovative land tools are used in the post-earthquake context to support the recordation and management of customary and informal land rights for communities. A case study method is applied in three communities in the Dolakha region to see if such FFP LA approaches on the ground support rebuilding efforts. The FFP LA approach involved participatory mapping through and with the community by identifying visible boundaries on high-resolution satellite imagery. The approach is successful and proves to be efficient and effective mapping land rights in the context of Disaster Risk Management (DRM) – because urgently required data on people to land relationships for reconstruction grants and decision making are available quickly and with the agreement of the citizens. Information gathered by grassroot surveyors in the project area revealed that one third of the earthquake victims cannot access the grants because the land title is missing. Currently not all land rights are recognized nor recorded in the Land Administration System (LAS) in Nepal and this is delaying the post-disaster recovery and reconstruction processes. For this reason, tenure rights of the poor and vulnerable have to be secured and access to land has to be guaranteed. The Nepalese government reacted and developed a FFP LA strategy and also made changes in the requirements to access the reconstruction grants.
Original languageEnglish
Number of pages20
Publication statusPublished - 2019
Event20th Annual World Bank Conference on Land and Poverty 2019: Catalyzing Innovation - Washington DC, United States
Duration: 25 Mar 201929 Mar 2019


Conference20th Annual World Bank Conference on Land and Poverty 2019: Catalyzing Innovation
Country/TerritoryUnited States
CityWashington DC
Internet address


  • Disaster Risk Management, Fit-For-Purpose Land Administration, Recovery and Reconstruction


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