Cultural issues in land information systems | Land Portal

Resource information

Date of publication: 
January 1996
Resource Language: 
ISBN / Resource ID: 

Considers the cultural dimension of applying the land information system (LIS) concept to lands held under customary land tenure. The article recognizes that the LIS concept has been developed primarily to serve the needs of countries with a western-style land market where individual land rights are the norm. However, many countries where customary landholdings exist, or predominate, are also interested in establishing LISs to manage their land resources better. The article has three main sections. In the first section, western LIS concepts are reviewed, placing their development in a historical perspective. This section includes a sample of the main attributes of land that are stored in a typical LIS. The article then reviews the main features of customary land tenure systems that distinguish them from western systems. Drawing examples from Fiji, where one of the authors is involved in establishing an LIS, the article compares land rights under western tenure to those under customary tenure and discusses the cultural implications of including these attributes in an LIS. [author]

Authors and Publishers

Author(s), editor(s), contributor(s): 

I. Chukwudozie Ezigbalike
M.T. Rakai
I.P. Williamson



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