Land Reform Strategy in Ukraine Until 2024

Land sale market law was approved in the first reading – and this is only the beginning of the land reform. What should the next steps be?

Land Reform Strategy in Ukraine Until 2024

Figure 1.

  • In 2018, the Government has registered and transferred to the ownership of amalgamated territorial communities close to 1.5 mn ha of state agricultural land. This process continues in 2019;
  • Numerous e-services were introduced by the State Geocadastre and the Registry of Rights, which reduced time for service provision, improved transparency and lowered corruption;
  • Data exchange between the Cadaster and Registry of Rights was established; and procedures for mandatory check of background information before the land transactions were introduced by the end of 2018;
  • Starting March 2015, notaries and several other categories of legal service providers have received an authority to register the rights for land and real estate in the State Registry of Rights. Prior to that, the registration was performed only by the state registrars causing significant delays and being a source of corruption. This step was augmented by establishment of Anti-raider Commission and further improvements of registration infrastructure.
  • In 2018, State Geocadaster has undertaken an effort to correct errors in the Land Cadaster which do not require re-surveying or court decisions. The information on several types of remaining errors is now publicly available in the online cadastral map. However, this process remains unfinished.
  • Starting 2013, auctions for selling rental and ownership rights for state and communal land were introduced. In 2015, the auction became mandatory which led to a significant increase in the land prices and budget revenues. Since fall 2018, State Geocadastre experiments with introduction of e-auctions based on Setam and Prozorro.Sales platforms.
  • The legal status of unclaimed inheritance and of land of former collective enterprises was recognized by law in 2017 and 2018 respectively.
  • Transparency and access to information on land and related rights were improved by adopting the relevant normative base and infrastructure (including establishing public cadastral map). Regular monitoring of land governance based on administrative data of 6 central government authorities was established by the Cabinet of Ministers resolution #639. State Geocadastre started regular publication some of the key statistics on its activity (land.gov.ua).
  • Public awareness campaigns on property rights protection and land market operation were implemented with the support of international donors. A coalition of stakeholders of land reform was established in 2018 to assure that land reform remains on the political agenda and to keep the Government accountable for progress.
  • A concept and several versions of law proposals for opening the land market were developed by the Members of Parliament and Government and were discussed at various committees, workshops and round tables.
  • A gradual process of land registration continued through 2014-2019. As of the end of 2017, State Land Cadastre had registered 86% of private and 22.3% of state land. For regional distribution see Figure 2.

Figure 2. The percentage of land area registered in the SLC for private land (left) and state-owned (right) as of December 2017

Land Reform Strategy in Ukraine Until 2024

Source: Land Governance Monitoring Report, 2016-2017

  • Increasing productivity of land use, providing equal protection of rights and equal access to land market and necessary financial resources to all land owners and land users;
  • Improving sustainability of land use and resilience to climate change;
  • Increasing transparency of land use, access to information, and preventing corruption.
  • Establishing a partial credit guarantee agency for small producers to facilitate the use of land as a collateral and to improve access to finance.
  • Establishing a Land Ombudsman to coordinate efforts for protecting land related rights and respective legislative changes, which can be coordinated with the results of the Ant-Raider Committee activities.
  • Upgrading capacity of State Free Legal Aid system to protect rights of land owners, land users and local governments.
  • Establishing legal base and procedures for selling ownership and rental rights for land via e-auctions.
  • Providing for mandatory recording in the Registry of Rights and publication of information on contract prices for land and real estate;
  • Completing inventory and registration of rights for state and communal land;
  • Improving procedures for systematic error correction and inventory of land and completing registration of land parcels with cadastral numbers but no technical documentation;
  • Establishing legal base and responsibility for land governance monitoring (regular publication of key administrative data);
  • Transferring state land which is in the permanent use of farmers since 1990s into their private ownership.
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