The Asian Development Bank (ADB) has approved a $1.3 million technical assistance (TA) initiative to support Armenia in developing a digital platform to host standardized data on land ownership and other geographic information to help improve land resources management in the country.
Under the TA, international experts will support the government to develop a geospatial data platform capable of hosting, integrating, and managing information on land use, property ownership, and other cadastral data nationwide. The TA will also help develop standards to regulate how spatial data is collected and shared based on global best practice, ensuring this information is readily accessible to the public and local authorities.
“In Armenia, much of the land registry record keeping and other cadastral data is currently paper-based, which limits the government’s ability to manage and assess real estate and register the natural, economic, and legal status of those lands,” said ADB Armenia Country Director Paolo Spantigati. “An integrated geoportal will allow information sharing among different government agencies, improving land resources management and public services delivery.”
The current lack of digital, accurate cadastral maps also contributes to poor implementation of infrastructure projects. With road projects, it is often difficult to choose alignment alternatives that minimize the requirement to resettle potentially affected people while land acquisition is often delayed, resulting in contractors not having full access to the site. Underground utilities such as water or sewage pipes often need to be reallocated when projects have begun based on inaccurate or outdated maps.
“The current lack of an integrated platform for easy and remote access to transparent and accurate land information creates inefficiencies in the real estate market and in policy making around national land use,” said Cadastre Committee of Armenia Chairman Souren Tovmasyan. “We appreciate the ongoing support ADB provides to Armenia, which is aligned with the government’s strategy of developing an integrated digital cadastre. This is part of our shared vision of building a more inclusive, prosperous, and resilient economy.”
The integrated platform will include information on national water resources and forests, special protected natural areas, and historical and cultural monuments to guide development projects, investments, agricultural activities, and tourism development, among others. It will include gender-based data on land ownership, enabling the government to pursue development planning that benefits women as much as men.
The platform will enable areas that are vulnerable to climate change and natural disasters such as earthquakes—of which Armenia is particularly prone—to be mapped. This will improve the government’s ability to monitor and respond to climate change and land degradation.
The TA will be financed by grants of $500,000 from the Republic of Korea e-Asia and Knowledge Partnership Fund and $800,000 from the High-Level Technology Fund, both to be administered by ADB. The initiative is expected to be complete by September 2024.
ADB is committed to achieving a prosperous, inclusive, resilient, and sustainable Asia and the Pacific, while sustaining its efforts to eradicate extreme poverty. Established in 1966, it is owned by 68 members—49 from the region.