Aldis Rausis, Latvia

FIG Commission 7 - Cadastre and Land Management

One Day International Conference, Land Management in the Process of Transition

Budapest, Hungary 18 June 1996



At present Latvia is in the situation of transition from the socialist management system where the land was managed in a simplified form and huge land areas were operated, to the market economy system with a large number of relatively small private land properties.

In the command administrative system the state was the only owner of land. Therefore land management was organised to settle needs of state authorities and institutions.

Land management system included:

Long term policy of land based on:

political ideas;

economic interests of state enterprises

Structure of land organisation planning institutions:

for residential lands;

for agricultural lands;

for forest lands

Financing of land organisation plans

Education of land managers and planners

Supervision of land users, including quality and quantity of the land.

Current situation

After restitution of independence as a result of Land Reform there is variable structure of types of property with quickly changing boundaries. Now most of the land is state or municipal property (53%). Only 12% of the total area is privately owned.

Municipal Land Commissions are responsible for restitution or privatisation of the land. Real property formation and land registration are the main tasks for State Land Service. The key issues of property formation and registration are settled:

Minimum necessary legislative acts are approved;

Decentralised structure in central and regional level is organised;

Land registration and information system is initiated;

In the transition period the Government has declared market based system as a final aim of economic reforms. Planned results of that reform are not described and popularised. In reality there is a lack of clearness on market based land management principles among land owners, managers and appropriate state institutions. As a result a lot of state and private properties are going to bankruptcy. Current property managers have experience in command economic system, which is not useable in market economy. The owners of private land do not have a clear vision of future benefits from their properties.

Land property taxation is area based and the level of taxes is low. It does not facilitate rational land use.

According to the legislation Municipalities are responsible for organisation of physical planning on a local level. In practice municipal authorities have limited finances and appropriate specialists for that activity. There are some state institutes which have survived, continuing individual land organisation planning based on economic factors. Production of State Forest Survey Institute - forest land organisation project - is optional for private or state property. State Land Service is ready to restart the planning of agricultural land organisation. There is no demand for individual residential land planning.

Future activities

To achieve effective sustainable land management in private and public sector, complex of issues must be settled by different state institutions.

There is a strong need to determine clear principles of national land policy, explaining future benefits from all types of land properties. Intentions of participation of the state in the land management should be declared.

It is important to facilitate development of land market, promoting increase of land management efficiency.

Legislation of real property registration must be improved to secure transactions of land properties, tenures and mortgages. It is necessary to simplify technology of registration for promotion of transactions.

Educational system for training of lecturers, state officers, land owners and managers must be developed on the base of state and private high schools.

Physical planning must be organised on state, regional and municipal levels with collaboration of land owners. Land consolidation can be organised on the municipal level.

Market oriented cadastral valuation of the land has to be developed. Cadastral values should be published.

It is important to revise legislation on land taxation to simplify and make long term acting.

State Land Service should focus on developing Land information systems, providing state offices, municipalities, land owners and managers with real property data, including market prices, which are necessary for land management and taxation of real properties.

Aldis Rausis

Real Property Valuation Centre

State Land Service