The land administration system is responsible for distributing and managing land. It has an extensive history and vast cultural and geographic differences, both in the world and within a country. Technological advancements have considerably impacted the system, making such aspects as cadastral maps, sustainable development, and social equity relevant. However, whether they can be successfully applied in any country remains to be seen.
Cambodia is a country with many issues, some of which make proper land administration difficult. A big divide exists between the rich and the poor, ensuring that the latter do not have the means to protect their land rights. Some people are not entitled to land possession due to geographical reasons and poor distribution in the past. The countrys land policy is to develop a title registry system and improve agricultural development of the already allocated land. Moreover, it is also important to consider Cambodias context and the elements of infrastructure. The solutions suggested so far might have failed to address the inherent issues within the country.
The Cambodian government plans to improve the title registry system with spatial data infrastructure (SDI), which is a viable mechanism that ensures sustainable development. With its help, Cambodia wants to make land data available to as many people as possible. However, the problem is that poor smallholders and those who lack any rights to land might not have Internet access to view that information, rendering the initiative meaningless for vulnerable demographic groups. While being helpful in theory, the use of blockchain technology also faces the same dilemma. Meanwhile, the population that already feels secure in their land ownership might use those technologies to strengthen the claim and form potential redistribution obstacles. Thus, unless the government prepares a foundation that enables SDIs universal use, the initiative might be abused despite the best intentions.
A more traditional solution to land ownership is establishing new regulations. The idea is that the government plans to as the basis for its allocation to another, less privileged owner. It would allow Cambodia to reinvigorate the economy and combat inequality. The initiative assumes that the land will be used for agricultural needs under new ownership, as most of the countrys population. However, if it is not the case, a person might be left with nothing again. Therefore, the new regulations should stipulate the conditions for receiving land and cultivating it. It might also be beneficial to supervise land allocation and use for first-time owners to offer them the necessary assistance. Overall, new laws are necessary to ensure that wealthy people will not have excessive land that sees no use.
Cambodian land administration appears to be plagued by many issues, including unclear property rights and irregular management. They, in turn, affect land distribution and allocation, which is often unscientific and corrupt. The government plans to amend those problems with Information and Communication Technologies (ICT), which will make the system more transparent. While the inclination to use them coincides with the general trends and ICT help coordinate and integrate various land administration elements, it may not be the ultimate solution. The human factor remains important, and the government should ensure that people with a vested interest in land are less involved in decision-making.
Despite the weak spots in the suggested solutions, the assessment approach chosen by the country is robust. It considers all elements of the land management paradigm, including the countrys context. The choice of formative evaluation is also reasonable, as the systems reformation will take much time, and it may require immediate reactions to new developments. It appears that ensuring easier access to SDI is also a priority, and eLand administration will also be under scrutiny. Overall, a strong evaluation system may compensate for the drawbacks of the suggested solutions and ensure Cambodias progress towards sustainability.