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 parties 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.


Indicators Year Value Unit Dataset Source Remove

Loading data ...

Compare countries


Loading data ...


Land Governance Assessment Framework (LGAF)

Please, select year and panels to show the info.

    • 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.


    Latest News



    Displaying 1 - 6 of 271
    April 2016

    Land Tenure Legislation in Timor-Leste

    By Bernardo Almeida

    The establishment of a formal land tenure system in Timor-Leste has been one of the most daunting challenges for the country since its independence. The post-colonial and post-conflict history has left a complex environment of conflicting land claims to which no solution has yet been found. The purpose of this article is to contribute to a better understanding of the legislation currently in force in Timor-Leste concerning (or regulating) land tenure.

    December 2015

    This instrument of the Prime Minister of the Republic of Fiji assigns to Attorney General and Minister for Finance, Public Enterprises, Civil Service and Communications, the responsibility for the conduct of the specified Government business, departments and written laws. Business includes Climate Change and trusts and as offices in departments the Strategic Planning and National Development Centre and the Climate Change Unit (Ministry of Finance) and the Office of the Registrar of Titles (Ministry of Justice).