FAO Investment Centre

Toward more secure property rights in Bosnia and Herzegovina

People of Brodac and surrounding villages unloading livestock feed from the truck

Bosnia and Herzegovina is working with FAO and the World Bank to develop a well-functioning land registration system – a move to stimulate economic growth and sustainable development.

Such a system will allow the country’s two entities – the Federation of Bosnia and Herzegovina and the Republika Srpska – to work more efficiently and effectively. It will also pave the way for investment, especially from the private sector, and protect citizens’ real property rights.

Historically, the country had two different registries for the same piece of land – a cadastre registry describing the parcel of land, and a land registry detailing the rights of that parcel.

Benefitting from FAO expertise in investment and land governance and with World Bank support, the governments in both entities are harmonizing the data between the two registries and making all of that data available online.

People can check the status of their properties with just a few clicks – from a description of the property to ownership and use rights. Now that the records are digitalized, the entities can share that data with other institutions and introduce new e-services. Applying for a mortgage or a loan to start a business, for example, will become easier and faster.

This work is in line with the Voluntary Guidelines on the Responsible Governance of Tenure of Land, Fisheries and Forests in the Context of National Food Security. For example, the introduction of IT systems is contributing to greater transparency, accountability, justice and inclusiveness, and minimizing opportunities for corrupt practices.

The entities are now using updated geospatial information for evidence-based decision-making around land tenure governance. The IT systems also generate gender disaggregated reports, providing information on how many women are landowners in order to raise awareness of the benefits of improving gender equality in property ownership and control. Additional funding has been granted to scale up this work in the country’s rural areas, which will facilitate the process of land consolidation.

Photo credit ©FAO/Nemanja Knezevic / FAO
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