05 December 2008

East Timor - Mediation is Best Way to Solve Land Disputes at Grassroots Level

Press Release 3 December 2008 from the "Ita Nia Rai" Land Law Program: Mediation in the Best Way to Solve Disputes at the Grassroots Level

Representatives from the National Directorate of Land, Property and Cadastral Services (DNTPSC) from Dili and the 13 districts of Timor-Leste gathered together with a team from the local NGO Belun and the USAID-funded ‘Ita Nia Rai’ project to discuss mediation of disputes related to land. 31 people in total participated in a 2-day workshop on 26 and 27 November in order to share their experiences and form a unified process for mediating land disputes. “The objective of this workshop was to provide the district Land and Property Directorate (DTP) officers with information about the ‘Ita Nia Rai’ project and to bring together their experience in order to create a mediation manual that can be used as a reference at the grassroots level” commented Ursula Almeida, ‘Ita Nia Rai’’s manager for conflict resolution and mediation.

The USAID-funded ‘Ita Nia Rai’ project promotes mediation as the most important method for resolving land disputes in communities. Mediation is a term that refers to a process in which a third party (called a ‘mediator’) helps two or more disagreeing parties to find a solution to their dispute. Mediation is a skill that many people practise every day although they may not know it by that name: for example when two people disagree and a third person, perhaps a friend of family member, steps in to help them resolve their differences, this is a form of mediation. The key to this process is that the mediator can not impose a solution to the dispute – the disagreeing parties themselves must come to an agreement. Because of this, mediation is a good way to solve land disputes at the community level, and in addition it does not require the time or financial resources that are needed to solve disputes in the Court.

Julio Mota, the head of the Land and Property Directorate in Oecussi, commented: “This 2-day workshop focused on land disputes, where two parties disagree about land [or land boundaries].” He also commented that after attending the workshop he would be able to share information with his community, about the USAID-funded ‘Ita Nia Rai’ program and about solving disputes locally through dialogue or mediation. According to Mota, the benefit of these methods are that the solution comes from the parties involved in the dispute. “It depends on what they [the disputants] decide, it’s not the Government that makes a decision. Also, there should be some kind of agreement between the two parties to the dispute, that can be used as evidence to prevent future disputes,” he observed.

Miguel Mau Soares, the manajer of NGO Belun’s cooperation with the ‘Ita Nia Rai’ project, commented: “I think the mediation teams can be readied early, since these teams [or panels] are composed of Suco chiefs, Aldeia chiefs and traditional elders.” He explained that “the Church, the local land and property offices (DTP) and the National Directorate for Land and Property (DNTPSC) should coordinate together to promote solving disputes which may arise.”

On the way to solve disputes, Soares explained: “First, the disputed area is identified, or localised, clearly. Second, a mediation team consults each of the parties to the dispute to find out what solution they wish for, and to find a mediator they can agree on. Third, a place is identified in which to conduct the mediation, that all parties agree on. If a solution is found through mediation, an agreement is prepared and the disputing parties can sign it. This agreement is not the decision of the mediator, but of the disputing parties themselves.”

The ‘Ita Nia Rai’ project is a five year project funded by the United States Agency for International Development (USAID). The project works with the Government of Timor-Leste to strengthen property rights in Timor-Leste and to build the capacity of the National Directorate for Land, Property and Cadastral Services (DNTPSC) and the Ministry of Justice to develop a sustainable and transparent land administration system. // Ends
Komunikado iha : 3 Dezembru 2008 husi Programa “Ita Nia Rai” . Hodi hetan informasaun liu tan, kontaktu: info@sprtl.tl MEDIASAUN MAKA DALAN DIAK LIU ATU REZOLVE KONFLITUS IHA BAZE

Representante DNTPSC (Direçcão Nacional de Terras, Propriedades e Serviços Cadastrais) husi Dili no husi DTP (Direksaun Terras e Propriedades) iha 13 Distritu, NGO Belun no ekipa ‘Ita Nia Rai’ halao workshop kona-ba Mediasaun Disputas Rai no Propiedade nian iha Timor- Leste, iha loron 26 – 27 Novembru 2008. Iha worskhop ne’e ema hamutuk 31 mak partisipa. “Objetivu husi worshop ne’e fo informasaun kona-ba Programa ‘Ita Nia Rai’ no mos koloka ema nia esperensia tau hamutuk iha manual, ne’ebe sira bele uza wainhira halo medisaun iha baze.” Lian hirak ne’e hato’o husi Ursula Almeida hanesan manajer ba elementu medisaun no rezolusaun konflitus iha programa “Ita Nia Rai.”

Programa ‘Ita Nia Rai’ promove mediasaun nudar metodu importante liu atu rezolve hadau malu kona-ba rai iha baze. Mediasaun maka termus ida ne’ebe refere ba prosesu ida ne’ebe involve parte terseiru (hanaran ‘mediador’) atu ajuda parte nain rua ne’ebe infrenta konflitu ka disputa hodi hetan rezolusaun ba sira nia problema ka konflitu. Mediasaun ne’e nudar kbiit ne’ebe ema pratika hela loron-loron, maibe ita la hanaran hanesan mediasaun. Por ezemplu, bainhira iha ema nain rua iha diferensia opiniaun no iha ema terseira parte, membru familia ka kolega karik, involve-an iha laran atu ajuda sira halo klarifikasaun problema no koalia ho didiak duke istori malu, ne’e mos hanesan forma mediasaun nian. Elementu xave ba prosesu ne’e katak mediador la foti desizaun ruma kona-ba disputa: disputa na’in sira rasik tenke hetan akordu. Tan ne’e, mediasaun hanesan solusaun didiak ba haksesuk malu kona-ba rai ka rai ketan, tanba bele hetan solusaun iha fatin no la presiza selu osan ba tribunal ka hein kleur hodi rezolve problema hadau malu kona-ba rai.

Iha oportunidade ne’e Julio Mota hanesan Xefi Direksaun Terras e Propriedades husi Oecuessi hateten: “Workshop ne’ebe halao iha loron rua ne’e liliu koalia kona-ba konflitus rai nian, rai ne’ebe parte ema rua la iha akordu ba malu.” Nia hatutan tan katak liu husi workshop ne’e, nia bele fo informasaun ba populasaun kona-ba programa ‘Ita Nia Rai’ no kona-ba benefisiu rezolve disputas lui husi koalia ba malu ka tuir mediasaun. Tuir nia, benefisiu katak solusaun ne’ebe bele hetan entre ema ne’ebe disputa malu. “Depende sira nain rua mak disidi, maibe laos Governu mak deside. No tenki iha akordu ida husi sira nain rua para bele hatama, hanesan efidensia ida, iha loron ikus keta mosu konflitus” nia hateten tan.

Miguel Mau Soares husi NGO Belun, hanesan manajer ba Belun nia kooperasaun ho programa ‘Ita Nia Rai’, hateten: “Hau hanoin ekipa medisaun tenki prontu tamba ekipa mediasaun hanesan kompostu husi lidirensa local sira husi base, Xefi Suco, Xefi Aldeia no lia nain sira.” Nia esplika katak: “Igrejia, DTP no DNTPSC ne’ebe involve halo kordensaun hamutuk para atu resolve disputa ne’ebe mosu, hau fiar katak ekipa mediasaun pronto ona atu ba tamba ekipa ida ne’e hari ona komisaun ida, atu nune bele hatan desputa problema ne’ebe mosu kona ba rai”.

Kona-ba dalan hodi resolve konflitus, nia hatutan tan katak “Primeru hanoin uluk lai desputa ne’e iha ne’ebe, lokalisasaun fatin desputa. Segundo ekipa mediasaun hakbesik an ba disputa na’in ne’e hodi hatene sira nia hakarak, depois husu ba sira, se maka atu sai mediador ba sira. Terseru buka fatin ba halo mediasaun, iha fatin ne’ebe mak sira hakarak hodi halo mediasaun. Liu husi mediasaun ne’e hetan resultadu tenki prepara akordu ida para sira nain rua asina hamutuk. Akordu ne’e laos tuir mediador nia hakark maibe tenki tuir disputa na’in nia hakarak”.

Projetu ‘Ita-Nia Rai’ ne’e ho durasaun tinan lima ne'ebé hetan fundus husi Governu Amerikano liu husi USAID hodi tulun Governu Timor Leste atu asegura direitu ba rai no propriedade iha nasaun ne’e. Serbisu hamutuk ho DNTPSC no Ministerio da Justiça, programa ida ne'e atu fó asistensia téknika no suporta regulamentu ba dezenvolvimento sustentavel no transparante ba sistema direitu ba propridade iha Timor-Leste. // Ends
Image: Women working a field in East Timor.

See further - Some Observations on the Report on Research Findings & Policy Recommendations for a Legal Framework for Land Dispute Mediation in East Timor

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Mediation is an excellent method of resolving issues, but doesn´t work for all types of conflict issues. Thank you for a great article.

Jean Smith