Community Land Planning

In order to empower communities in land rights disputes, CODI works with communities in rural areas and in national parks by teaching them to survey their land with global position systems (GPS) and geographic information system (GIS) technology, and by helping them present the findings to relevant authorities.

Community members use to technology to collect data about how many people reside in the disputed area, how long they have lived there, and the boundaries of each householdís plot. Elders are also consulted on the history of the community. By collecting themselves, communities act more efficiently than government agencies and can stand behind their claims with facts.

CODI encourages community members and relevant government agencies to work together to find a solution. If the community can prove that they have resided on and owned the land prior to it becoming public land or a national park, they are entitled to a land deed. If they are unable to achieve this, they negotiate a long term lease or use without payment. CODI is currently working with 600 communities, most of which are still in the data collection phase

In 2009, the Thai Cabinet issued regulation about community land titles to encourage collective ownership and discourage individuals from profiteering off increases in land value. This legislation will ease CODIís Rural Collective Housing program, which aims to organize landless people and help them secure land tenure. Just as in the case of traditional Collective Housing projects, CODI assists community organizations by providing architects and technical assistance, and offering financing for land purchase and house construction. This project will be a growing focus for CODI in the coming years.