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JIS News

Story Highlights

  • LAMP II will shortly become available in St. James, St. Ann, Westmoreland, Hanover and Trelawny.
  • This will bring to eight, the number of parishes benefitting from land surveying and titling service under the initiative.
  • The LAMP offices will allow persons to access the benefits of the programme where they reside.

The Land Administration and Management Programme (LAMP II) will roll out its services to five western parishes next month, as the Government continues to make good on its pledge to ensure that more Jamaicans access titles for property they occupy.

Project Director, Lisa Campbell, tells JIS News that LAMP II will shortly become available in St. James, St. Ann, Westmoreland, Hanover and Trelawny.

This will bring to eight, the number of parishes benefitting from land surveying and titling service under the initiative. St. Elizabeth, Manchester and Clarendon are already receiving assistance.

Ms. Campbell says that the LAMP offices will allow persons to access the benefits of the programme where they reside.

“Our office is Kingston-based so through a partnership with GEOLand Title Limited, we’re looking to serve persons in these communities at an accelerated pace. They’ll be able to access surveying and titling services, so we’re hoping that by March of this year, we’ll have a full roll-out,” she says.

“The idea is to greatly assist more persons in rural communities and certainly, persons in urban communities in rural parishes,” she adds.

A project of the Ministry of Water, Land, Environment and Climate Change, LAMP was instituted as a pilot project in 2000 in collaboration with the Inter-American Development Bank (IDB), to regularise and clarify 30,000 parcels of land in designated sections of St. Catherine.

A total of 476 certificates of title have been issued and 29,000 parcels of land surveyed in St. Catherine.

Ms. Campbell says that the project was undertaken by Government to address the high percentage of properties on the land roll that are unregistered and therefore untitled.

“This has serious implications for economic development and not having a dynamic land market,” she points out.

She notes that persons, who do not have a title for the land on which they live, cannot carry out any meaningful development on the property. Infrastructural development, agricultural endeavours, and the ability to use the land as security for loans, are just some of the many opportunities that come with having a title.

The Project Director points out that in other jurisdictions, it is clear that ownership of land is a key part of the development process.

“When you look at developed societies – Europe, America, Canada – one of their hallmarks is that they have full registration of properties as a solid platform to attract investments,” she states.

With the success of the pilot, LAMP was extended in 2005 with the passing of the Special Provisions Act, which allows for Government to declare “project areas,” in order to hasten cadastral mapping and tenure clarification, as defined by a plan. “The only areas that have not been declared are Kingston and St. Andrew, as well as Portmore and its environs,” Ms. Campbell informs.

Since the end of the IDB-funded portion of the programme, an additional 3,909 certificates of title have been issued.

In 2010, LAMP II was launched to conduct cadastral mapping and titling of approximately 12,000 parcels of land in the parishes of St. Elizabeth, Manchester and Clarendon over two years.

The initiative was undertaken through US$2.2 million in support from the Korean Government through the Korea Cadastral Survey Corporation (KCSC), with its Jamaican partner, GEOLAND Title Limited, embarking on surveying parcels to support the registration of title process.

To date, 628 certificates of title have been issued and 824 applications for title have been provisionally approved, and are at varying stages of being processed. A total 3,749 parcels were added to the digital cadastral map database for St. Elizabeth.

In 2013, LAMP II was extended for another 10 years, with an initial injection of US$2 million from KCSC, and an option to invest up to US$26 million over the period.  This is in partnership with Geoland Titles Limited, local experts in digital land mapping.

“The KOICA project is grant-funded and based on the criteria they established, we decided to focus on land settlements, where persons had been allotted land holdings and parcels years ago, say from in the 1940’s, and have not been able to get a title primarily because the Government did not have the capacity to survey these properties,” Ms. Campbell explains.

Informal settlements are also receiving attention through a pilot programme being executed under the KOICA project in three primary parishes – St. Mary, Portland and St. Ann.

“So, the focus is to get 1,000 titles for 1,000 households out of these communities.  It’s a small number but it’s a significant feat considering the nature of the work involved,” Ms. Campbell says.

She tells JIS News that just under 800 lots have already been surveyed in St. Mary, 200 in St. Ann and 32 in Portland.

“We see this 1,000 as just a start as there is more to come. We’re hoping that we can look at a continued partnership with KOICA to assist with more titling work in these and other parishes and in other land settlements as well,” she says.

Ms. Campbell says that the beneficiaries are grateful for the opportunity to acquire a title.

“For the families that will benefit, some of whom have been on the land for years without title, it’s a way forward for them to be able to use the title in a way they were not able to before.  They’ll be able to use it as leverage for micro-financing, as collateral for student loans especially for tertiary education,” she states.

She noted that “many of the holdings in the land settlements were allotted as farmsteads so persons can now go back into farming. Once the communities grow and develop at the grassroots level, Jamaica, as a whole, will benefit.”