Most of the population in Timor-Leste lives in rural areas, 86% of which is poor. More than 50% of land is forested, and mineral resources, in particular hydrocarbons, are the primary source of income in Timor-Leste, while agriculture accounts for about 32% of the total GDP.

The Constitution of Timor-Leste recognizes equal rights between men and women, the right to private property for national citizens and the right to just compensation in case of expropriation by the government. It also recognizes customary rights, as long as they do not contradict the constitution or formal laws. Ministerial Regulation No.229/2008 sets the basis for land claims data collection and is considered the first step for the development of a comprehensive land law and policy.

The primary reasons for land disputes in Timor-Leste are represented by intra-family or inheritance disputes, expropriation of land by government, claims for land use and conflicting interest for the same parcel of land. Customary authorities generally deal with land disputes, although the lack of a formal procedures for resolving conflicts remain an open issue. 

Source of the narrative

Disclaimer: The data displayed on the Land Portal is provided by third parts indicated as the data source or as the data provider. The Land Portal team is constantly working to ensure the highest possible standard of data quality and accuracy, yet the data is by its nature approximate and will contain some inaccuracies. The data may contain errors introduced by the data provider(s) and/or by the Land Portal team. In addition, this page allows you to compare data from different sources, but not all indicators are necessarily statistically comparable. The Land Portal Foundation (A) expressly disclaims the accuracy, adequacy, or completeness of any data and (B) shall not be liable for any errors, omissions or other defects in, delays or interruptions in such data, or for any actions taken in reliance thereon. Neither the Land Portal Foundation nor any of its data providers will be liable for any damages relating to your use of the data provided herein.


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Land Governance Assessment Framework (LGAF)

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    • Very Good Practice
    • Good Practice
    • Weak Practice
    • Very Weak Practice
    • Missing Value

    Voluntary Guidelines on the Responsible Governance of Tenure

    Legend: National laws adoption of the VGGT principle
    • Fully adopt
    • Partially adopt
    • Not adopted
    • Missing Value

    Note: The Voluntary Guidelines on the Responsible Governance of Tenure of Land, Fisheries, and Forests in the Context of National Food Security (The VGGTs) were endorsed by the Committee on World Food Security in 2012.

    The "VGGT indicators" dataset has been created by Nicholas K. Tagliarino, PhD Candidate at the University of Groningen, with support from Daniel Babare and Myat Noe (LLB Students, University of Groningen). The indicators assess national laws in 50 countries across Asia, Africa, and Latin America against international standards on expropriation, compensation, and resettlement as established by Section 16 of the VGGTs.

    Each indicator relates to a principle established in section 16 of the VGGTs. Hold the mouse against the small "i" button above for a more detailed explanation of the indicator.

    Answering the questions posed by these indicators entails analyzing a broad range of national-level laws, including national constitutions, land acquisition acts, land acts, community land acts, agricultural land acts, land use regulations, and some court decisions.


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    Displaying 1 - 6 of 269
    Reports & Research
    December 2014

    The Review of the legislative framework and jurisprudence concerning the right to adequate food in Nepal discusses overarching aspects of Nepalese law and jurisprudence dealing with the human right to food. Following a brief discussion of the international legal protection of the right to food in Nepal, the review, in particular provides a critical assessment of constitutional as well as legislative provisions and offers a thorough analysis of Supreme Court jurisprudence pertaining to the right to food.

    Reports & Research
    December 2006

    The initial Asia-Pacific Forestry Sector Outlook Study (APFSOS) drew together the myriad forestry dimensions to provide a coherent description and analysis of the situation and prospects for forestry in the region. The study resulted in 50 working papers on a variety of forestry themes. The formal aspects of the study culminated in a comprehensive main report, published in November 1998. APFSOS provided an important roadmap for forestry sector development in the Asia-Pacific region to 2010, which is still being used to guide policy makers in the region today.

    Journal Articles & Books
    December 1998

    An overview of the state of Indonesia's forests and forest industries. Future supply and demand and other expected developments are presented in the light of current trends and long term plans.

    Reports & Research
    December 2007

    The Pinheiro Principles provide restitution practitioners, as well as States and UN and others agencies, with a consolidated text relating to the legal, policy, procedural, institutional and technical implementation mechanisms for housing and property restitution. As such, the Principles provide specific policy guidance regarding how to ensure the right to housing and property restitution in practice and for the implementation of restitution laws, programmes and policies, based on existing international human rights, humanitarian, refugee and national standards.

    Reports & Research
    December 2006

    Este manual de formación se centra en cómo gestionar y resolver conflictos sobre los derechos de tenencia de la tierra, la seguridad de la tenencia y el acceso a la tierra en el campo del desarrollo rural. Resulta de las actividades complementarias realizadas con el Programa de apoyo a los medios de vida, de la FAO, (LSP) y la Unidad de Gestión y Tenencia de la Tierra y con la Coalición Internacional para el Acceso a la Tierra.