More Links in News & Events

Carter Center: Land Commitments in Nepal's Peace Process Only Partially Fulfilled

In Atlanta: Deborah Hakes, +1 404-420-5124
In Kathmandu: Sarah Levit-Shore, +977 1 444-5055/1446

Kathmandu… In a report released today, The Carter Center has found that the Maoists and successive governments have each only partially fulfilled land commitments as outlined in the November 2006 Comprehensive Peace Agreement (CPA) and subsequent agreements. In those accords, the Maoists committed to return land seized during the conflict and the then-Seven Party Alliance government committed to formulate policies for scientific land reform.[1]

"Although both sides have made progress towards these goals, the commitments remain unfulfilled," said Dr. David Pottie, associate director of the Carter Center's Democracy Program. "The Carter Center believes that land return and land reform efforts should proceed together to address fairly grievances on both sides and achieve lasting peace."

The report is based on the most recent findings of Carter Center observers throughout the country, who have observed the post-election peace and constitutional drafting process since June 2009.  The Center collected information in 11 districts – six Tarai and five Hill and Mountain – through interviews with government officials, political parties, civil society, landowners, tenants, and local residents.

According to the Center's findings, the Maoists appear to have returned the majority of land that they seized during the conflict in the Hills and Mountains as well as in some parts of the Tarai.  However, in the Far and Mid Western Tarai, it appears that the Maoists still have not returned most of the land that was seized during the conflict period.

When land return has taken place, it has occurred on an ad hoc basis with no formal process, and usually has involved direct negotiations between individual landowners and the Maoist party.  Maoist policy regarding whether to return or retain land appears to be frequently, but not always, determined by district and local level Maoist representatives.

Official records regarding conflict-era land seizures are highly inaccurate, making it nearly impossible to determine exactly how much land was seized or how much has been returned in a given district.  Many landowners have never reported their land as seized and are reluctant to engage legal or administrative channels to have it returned, believing these channels to be unable or unwilling to address such cases.

Since the end of the conflict, there have been new land seizures carried out by the Maoists and by other groups such as the CPN(M) led by Matrika Yadav.   There have also been many symbolic land seizures that have been reported in the media, but where no land has been captured.  Symbolic seizures, which consist of planting a party flag and issuing a press release, have been carried out by a large range of groups to raise the profile of a group or draw attention to a cause.

According to the Center's findings, land reform commitments have also not been fully implemented.  Two Land Reform Commissions have been formed since 2006 – one under the former Maoist-led government and another under the current UML-led government.  A new land use plan has recently been proposed by the UML-led government, a positive step, but to date, policies for scientific land reform as called for in the CPA have not been formulated or implemented.

The Center offers the following recommendations to the government and to the Maoists to advance outstanding commitments related to land return and land reform:

Recommendations on land return:

  • Create an official, credible, and impartial record of seized land nationwide;
  • The UCPN(M) should return the land found to be remaining under its control;
  • Establish mechanisms to deal with complex land return cases that allow for a range of possible solutions including, for example: compensation, resettlement, long-term government loans, or distribution of tenancy rights where appropriate;
  • Establish a credible and impartial land return monitoring mechanism.

Recommendations on land reform:

  • Establish a comprehensive record of public and private land;
  • Establish a record of landlessness;
  • Form an inter-party working committee to study land reform recommendations;
  • Hold a land summit to allow for an inclusive dialogue on land issues;
  • Agree on enforceable legislation regarding the land ownership ceiling;
  • Agree on a comprehensive land use plan, building on the plan recently put forward by the Government;
  • Identify a common minimum program on land reform and implement land reform policies.

Carter Center reports on Nepal's peace and constitutional drafting process may be found at


"Waging Peace, Fighting Disease, Building Hope."  A not-for-profit non-governmental organization, The Carter Center has helped to improve life for people in more than 70 countries by resolving conflicts; advancing democracy, human rights, and economic opportunity; preventing diseases; improving mental health care; and teaching farmers in developing nations to increase crop production.  The Carter Center was founded in 1982 by former U.S. President Jimmy Carter and his wife, Rosalynn, in partnership with Emory University to advance peace and health worldwide.  Please visit to learn more about The Carter Center. 


[1]Clauses 5.1.8 and 3.7 of the CPA

Read the full report in English (PDF) >

कृपया नेपालीमा पढ्नुहोस् >

Donate Now

Sign Up For Email

Please sign up below for important news about the work of The Carter Center and special event invitations.

Please leave this field empty
Now, we invite you to Get Involved
Back To Top