The Ministry of Natural Resources is working to bring its Land Folio System on-stream in the very near future; the target time is by the end of November. The system is being implemented under the Land Management Program Phase III (LMP III) and being paid for through a US$2.5 million loan from the Inter-American Development Bank. The objective of the Land Management program is to consolidate and expand land management services countrywide; itís an effort to improve efficiency, offer quality service, and access to all Belizeans. Work has been ongoing for the past three years and is now in its final stage says Commissioner of Lands and Survey, Wilbert Vallejos.†

Commissioner of Lands and Survey, WILBERT VALLEJOS:
It's going to take all the information that is available at the Lands Department through the various units, because every unit at the Lands Department is responsible for their own information. †You have Registry who is responsible for Land Tenure information. You have Mapping who is responsible for map coordinates, measurements, and things like that. †You have the Valuation Section who is responsible for values, considerations, purchase prices, information on value of land, and you have the Physical Planning who is responsible for land use information, sub-division information. And other sections, our Land†Revenue†who is responsible for financial data. So LMP3†consolidates†this information into one†system, a†system†that we call Land Folio. †So it puts it together, and then consequently expands it, so†everybody's†going to have the same information available.

With itís built in monitoring system and paperless trail, the Land Management Program promises to make land tenure processes much more user friendly.†

Commissioner of Lands and Survey, WILBERT VALLEJOS:
We are going to process. †The way we do processing in Lands Department is going to be transformed entirely, because we're not going to process applications using physical files, or we're going to†minimize†the use of the physical files. When John Public goes to any District office, or when he's in Belmopan to make an application, of course the requirements have to be met, but once the requirements have been met, the information is automated, it's scanned. It's put into the†computer†so that anybody can access information. †And once it goes in there it stays there. It can't be destroyed. †And even if the physical file goes missing, for whatever reason, the†information†in the†computer†is going to be there.

Vallejos underscored that other nations have taken notice of the Land Management Program being implemented in Belize.†

Commissioner of Lands and Survey, WILBERT VALLEJOS:
Maybe we have not grasped the concept yet, even us here at the Lands Department are still grasping land accepting it. But this Land Management Programme is well commented and talked about by the international community and regional countries.So much that we had a visit from representatives of the Government of Panama, who heard about the system, and who heard about the initiative that Belize is undertaking to save the same problems that they go through, and they want to do the same thing. †So Belize has become a model when it comes to addressing Land Management issues or services, and to†improving†on them.

The Department is currently migrating its information into the upgraded Land Management System, a process which should be completed by the end of the month.