Cadastre Reform in Trinidad and Tobago

Madison, WI, June 28, 2001 -- Trinidad-Tobagonian researcher Charisse Griffith-Charles is at the Land Tenure Center to further her research on cadastral reform, which is a method by which a country or state delineates and organizes ownership of land. She is visiting from the Department of Surveying and Land Information, The University of the West Indies.

An important part of cadastre reform is to ensure that the social and cultural components of the land be translated into the deeds and title systems that control the land market. For example, while one country may accept only a high level of accuracy in land measurement, another country may allow for less accuracy.

Throughout the 1990s, Trinidad and Tobago upgraded their cadastre system in order to support agricultural growth. This included digitizing map production, improving land registry records and topographic databases, indexing cadastral records, and regularizing state land tenure. This overhaul, however, was sometimes beset by bureaucratic difficulties and institutional inadequacies.

Through her research, Griffith-Charles hopes to present a structure for effectively implementing cadastre reform in Trinidad and Tobago. She plans to benchmark her recommendations by studying cadastral reforms in countries such as Albania and St. Lucia and meeting with LTC and UW-Madison scholars who have worked on land reform issues around the world. She can be reached at ccharles@facstaff.wisc.edu until 12 July 2001.