More than 90,000 Nicaraguan families in the northern departments of Jinotega and Nueva Segovia will benefit from a $40 million World Bank project to regulate property rights and modernize government institutions charged with issuing property titles, according to a World Bank press release.
The project, approved yesterday by the World Bank Board of Directors, will fund the second phase of the government’s Property Regularization Program (PRODEP II), which started in 2002. When the project began, only 8% of land in Nicaragua had been registered and titled. Phase I increased the amount of officially registered land to 18% by 2012, including 13,000 km2 of land in the departments of León, Chinandega, Estelí and Madriz. Phase II of the project aims to increase the amount of registered land to 25% by titling properties in Jinotega and Nueva Segovia.
“In the second stage we expect to register 33,000 km2, totaling 25.4% of the national territory; our goal is to sweep a further 9,000 km2 in eight municipalities of Jinotega and 12 in Nueva Segovia,” said Camille Nuamah, World Bank Representative in Nicaragua.
Nuamah noted that 50% of the land titles issued so far have been given to women or partners.
“The modernization of the entire public land registry system has been one of the greatest achievements of the first stage of the project, including the development of the Integrated Cadastral and Registry Information System (SIICAR), which it will continue to promote,” Attorney General Hernan Estrada said in the press release. The first phase of the program, he added, has “favored indigenous communities in particular, after providing fifteen property titles, which put an end to an ancestral demand from these people, who are part of our multi-ethnic and pluri-cultural state.”
Close to 70,000 property titles have been delivered so far, 24,000 of which are the result of a cadastral sweep that led to the registration of 224,000 plots, according to the World Bank. The second stage of the program will more than double those results, benefitting the underprivileged population with few chances of development and hindered by the lack of a property title.
The second phase of the program also includes support for the Nicaraguan Institute of Land Studies’ (INETER) Physical Cadastre, where land owners from the reformed and private sector already have their updated property information. It will also continue to support the Nicaraguan Institute of Municipal Development (INIFOM), according to the press release.
The program, which ends in 2018, will also work on seeking alternative solutions for land property conflicts by training the mediators and institutional staff and supporting the establishment of technical regulations for handling such disputes.
The project also includes a significant environmental component, as it contemplates the demarcation of protected areas such as the Dipilto and Jalapa ranges, Yali Hills, Peñas Blancas Massif, Kilambe and Datanli – El Diablo Hills in Nueva Segovia and Jinotega.