Ita Nia Rai Data Collection Process
4 June 2009
On 28 July 2008 the National Land Cadastre was launched, with pilot programs beginning in November in Manatuto and Liquiça. Anyone, including foreign citizens, is able to make a claim on any land within the project area, including state land. Claims can be made by individuals, groups, organizations and the State. People can also provide supporting documents such as Indonesian era land claims or ask for a witness testimony which is recorded if they have no documents. As well as written information, photos of claimants and audio of their claim is recorded for the claims database. A representative can make a claim on someone else’s behalf (for example if they live overseas). Up to eight people can register their names on a group claim. For any more people a representative is nominated. Public meetings and a women’s meeting is held to distribute public information. Trained volunteers go door-to-door to collect information, providing a minimum of one day’s notice of their intention to come.
If there are several claims on one piece of land, then a dispute is logged and a mediation process begins — except if State land is involved. If there is a land dispute, people can choose to begin a mediation process, but are first given two weeks to resolve the issue amongst themselves (often disputes involve family members). Disputants can choose a DNTPSC, Xefe Suco or NGO mediator. They can access mediation up to 3 times, with a maximum of one day for each mediation. If a dispute is not resolved it is marked as disputed in the land claims database and people can choose to take their case to court. In Manatuto several disputes involving people living in Indonesia are not yet resolved because they cannot participate in this process. Informally we have heard several concerns of the skills of mediators, particularly NGO mediators. Claimants can also choose to bypass the mediation process and bring their case directly to the courts.
Number of Claims Registered
Once claims are collected for a given area, they will be published publicly in community decided local areas, as well as the local DNTPSC office, DNTPSC office in Dili and via the internet. The 1 July 2008 Dispatch launching the land cadastre states information should be displayed for at least 30 days. In the first week of June 2009 maps came on display in Manatuto and Liquiça, as well as the Dili DNTPSC office. People who have land interests in Manatuto and Liquiça will have 6 weeks from the date of publication to dispute existing land claims or add new claims. After the claims process is finished people can change names, change a boundary, and add and remove people from their claim.