Public Inspection in Apartadó

The 20th of June 25 landowners of the hamlet Los Mandarinos in the Antioquia department gathered for a so-called Public Inspection, to verify the results of the data they collected with the Fit-For-Purpose methodology for land administration. The meeting was the last step towards formalizing their properties within the Dutch-led pilot project to develop a quicker and more effective method for Colombian land administration. 

by: Ynske Boersma

Doña Edita del Socorro Gonzalez was 13 years ago one of the first to settle on the former banana-plantation Finca El Trébol, part of the hamlet Los Mandarinos in the municipality of Apartadó. She bought 4 hectares of land, on which she has lived ever since. But her land was never formally registered, just like an estimated 60 % of other rural parcels in Colombia. 

The past months Doña Edita and 24 other informal property owners of Finca El Trébol have taken part in the Land-in-Peace pilot project, a cooperation between the Embassy of the Netherlands, The Netherlands’ Cadastre, Land Registry and Mapping Agency – in short Kadaster – and Colombian land register agency Agencia Nacional de Tierras. By using the so-called Fit-For-Purpose technology they measured the boundaries of their lands themselves, the results of which were uploaded to a map connecting the data of all plots. 

´With this pilot we are testing the applicability of the Fit-For-Purpose method for land administration in the Colombian context,´ says Piet Spijkers from Kadaster. ´How much does it cost to map and register the land of this community, and how long does it take? This information will serve as the basis for.´

Today the land owners and their neighbors have gathered for a Public Inspection,´ as the final step towards getting their land titles within the pilot project. Supervised by ANT and the representatives of Kadaster, they verify the results of the data collection and when correct, they give their approval with a digital autograph.  

´The goal of today is to verify the collected data, witnessed by the whole community,´ says Mathilde Molendijk from Kadaster. ´It is important that all neighbors sign, otherwise the property cannot be formalized.´She continues: ‘There are always small disagrees on boundaries, but the vast majority agrees.’ ‘From the 209 neighboring relationships in the hamlet Los Mandarinos we have found only one obstacle,’ affirms Javier Morales from Universiteit Twente and advisor of the project. 

The land property issues show the benefits of Fit-For-Purpose compared to the current land administration procedure. ´The strength of this method is that it involves the community in the process, says Katherine Sanchez from ANT. ´And the applied technology makes it easy to correct data if necessary.´

For the soon-to-be legal proprietaries of Finca El Trébol, getting a land title is a huge achievement. ´Now I can finally get a loan to buy a weed removing machine, and invest in better crops´ says Marcial Hurtado. ´I want to live in a decent house,´ says Doña Edita. ´But without a land title, this was never possible.´

Doña Edita