The Bahamas government moves closer to implementing modern land use policy

The Bahamas government moves closer to implementing modern land use policy

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The Bahamas, 16 August 2006: Just into its second year, the three-year, $5 million Land Use Policy and Administration Programme (LUPAP) appears to be moving closer to a fully harmonized, modern land use policy in The Bahamas. Prime Minister Perry Christie on August 14, identified the three components of the LUPAP: Land Administration Modernization, Land Information Management, and National Land Issues and Policy Guidelines.

The Prime Minister presided over the signing of a $2.3 million contract between the government and International Land Systems (ILS) out of Silver Springs, Maryland, as part of the LUPAP. The LUPAP is co-funded by the Inter-American Development Bank (IDB) to the tune of $3.5 million, with The Bahamas government kicking in the remaining $1.5 million.

Iwan Sewberath Misser, the IDB representative, noted that the geodetic control, parcel management (PIMS) and the preparation of national land policy guidelines are critical aspects of the LUPAP.

“This Land Use Policy and Administration Project is of significant importance for The Bahamas because it will provide the policy, planning and administrative tools to achieve a sustainable use and promote a rational development of land and coastal resources, which is vital to avoid detrimental impact on the economy,” Mr. Misser said.

The ILS project is expected to modernize the geodetic infrastructure of The Bahamas so that, for example, map coordinates give precise locations on the land.

According to the Prime Minister, the project is expected to modernize and expand the land administration services provided by the government land agencies responsible for cadastral surveying, allocation and management of Crown Land, the recording of property rights and the assessment of properties for taxation purposes.

The LUPAP is also expected to provide geographic information for land use planning and monitoring of land development, strengthen the technical capacity of the government in collecting, analyzing and dissemination of land information, and prepare policy options and guidelines for key national issues.

Mr. Misser of the IDB noted that the LUPAP is particularly relevant to The Bahamas, as are the IDB’s Coastal Zone Management Programme, and preparation of a practical regional development plan for Inagua. Registrar General Shane Miller expected that the LUPAP project would be complete around the same time that the computerization project ongoing in the Registrar General’s department.