The goal of the National Land Policy in Malawi is to ensure tenure security and equitable access to land, to facilitate the attainment of social harmony and broad based social and economic development through optimum and ecologically balanced use of land and land based resources.A number of specific land policy objectives have to be satisfied in order to achieve the overall goal, particularly: a) Promote tenure reforms that guarantee security and instill confidence and fairness in all land transactions: Guarantee secure tenure and equitable access to land without any gender bias and/or discrimination to all citizens of Malawi as stipulated under Article 28 of the Constitution. Instill order and discipline into land allocation and land market transactions to curb land encroachment, unapproved development, land speculation and racketeering. b) Promote decentralized and transparent land administration: Ensure accountability and transparency in the administration of land matters, and guarantee that existing rights in land, especially customary rights of the smallholders, are recognized, clarified, and ultimately protected in law. Set guidelines for establishing economically viable ceilings on land ownership that will be translated into a statutory mandate to prevent extreme land concentration in a few hands, or individuals and/or organizations and extreme fragmentation.c) Extend land use planning strategies to all urban and rural areas: disseminating land information to ensure effective utilization of land in urban and rural areas. Facilitate efficient use of land under market conditions to ensure optimum benefits from land development. d) Establish a modern land registration system for delivering land services to all: Provide formal and orderly arrangements for granting titles and delivering land services in modern and decentralized registration system that support local governments. e) Enhance conservation and community management of local Resources: Promote community participation and public awareness at all levels to ensure environmentally sustainable land use practices, and good land stewardship; f) Promote research and capacity building in land surveying and land management: Promote research and continuous education of the public on all aspects of the duties and obligations of land tenure, land stewardship, and operations of the land market.To achieve the objectives of the National Land Policy, the sections of the document have been organized into ten logical parts. Sections 2 and 3 provide an abridged historical overview and summary of land problems that led to the need to formulate this Policy. These sections identify key historical issues as well as recent challenges created by the absence of a comprehensive land policy. They also present the long-range goal and objectives that guided the preparation of the document. Section 4 provides clear definitions and categories of land tenure and outlines the policy proposals to reform the land tenure system. The Section also devotes attention to new policy recommendations according statutory recognition to customary tenure and protections against fraudulent acquisitions and dispositions of customary estates. In Section 5, the focus is on land administration issues. It includes recommendations for making more transparent and democratic the responsibilities of traditional leaders at all levels of the land administration hierarchy from Chiefs and Sub-Chiefs down to Clan leaders, Headpersons and Family Heads. Section 6 discusses land use planning and development control requirements. In addition to extending the need for planning to all urban and rural areas, the section also discusses strategies for encouraging compliance with development controls, including areas covered under the Lakeshore Development and Land Use Management Control Order. Sections 7 and 8 discuss the challenges caused by the lack of professional capacity in the surveying and land management professions and call for the adoption of alternative surveying methods to facilitate the preparation of cadastral plans. The Government recognizes the need to decentralize land administration by establishing District Land Registries to assist local assemblies and district development agencies manage local development. Sections 9 and 10 deal with issues that pertain to community management of land resources, conservation and environmental management, habitat preservation and land degradation. Section 10 in particular focuses on inter-ministerial, interdisciplinary and cross cutting issues including gender access, agriculture, capacity requirements and the administrative and fiscal capacity of Local Assemblies for monitoring the implementation of land policy.
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