Searching for a Cadastral Map of Phnom Penh

This data is from 2003. In search of a current data and cadastral map.

Urban Land
legally registered and surveyed:
…18… %
legally occupied, but not
registered or surveyed:
…70… %
informally occupied without
legal title:
…12… %
total: …100… %


“Historical Outline of Cadastre
The history of land management and administration in Cambodia goes back to the Civil Code of 1920, which established the system of French land law that recognized private property rights.During the 1960s there was an adequate system of land management, including confirmation of private property rights with land records including cadastral map and land titles. The land management system started deteriorating during the period 1970-1975. Thereafter under the Pol Pot regime (1975-1979), not only were private property rights completely destroyed but all cadastral records, including cadastral map and titles, were also destroyed. The professionals in land laws and land management, registration and surveying were either re-deployed to the countryside,left the country or were executed. Since 1979 the State of Cambodia organized collective as a basis of claiming user rights to agricultural land: residential use rights were allocated on the basis of occupation while ownership of land still remained in the hands of the state. In 1989, the government re-introduced private property rights, with ownership right issued for residential land of a size up to 2000 sq. meters, possession rights for cultivated land less than 5 ha, and concession rights for plantation land greater than 5 ha. According to the new land law 2001, ownership titles can be issued for cultivated land as well, if the requirement of peaceful and uncontested occupation of 5 years is fulfilled.”


Purpose of Cadastral System

The cadastral system in Cambodia is designed to provide the legal ownership of land. Secondly, the cadastral system supports the transfer of land ownership in formal land market and supports the land administration activities.

Types of Cadastral System
In Cambodia, there is only one cadastral system, a title registration system, for the whole territory. Cambodian cadastral system supports legal land parcel identification of public and private right. There are problems with illegal settlements on state land such as on road corridors, Waterways, National parks, forest etc.

Cadastral Concept
Cadastral system in Cambodia is operated by the district offices of the Ministry of Land Management, Urban Planning and Construction and operate in such a way that land parcels are surveyed and adjudicated (investigated) in the field and then corresponding land ownership are recorded in the land registry. The land registry is kept and maintained in three levels: national
(General department of Cadastre and Geography), provincial and district. The smallest unit in land registry is land parcel. A land parcel or cadastral unit is a specified land area that is situated within a single commune or sangkat, that is not divided by a joint, indivisible boundary, [that] belongs to one person or several persons having an undivided ownership, and that is used in a single manner.

In 2000 a Sub-decree on systematic land registration has been approved, which makes land registration obligatory commune by commune. The sporadic land registration will still be applied until the total of the country is registered.

2 thoughts on “Searching for a Cadastral Map of Phnom Penh

  1. […] maps do not depict the nuances and diversity of urban space in Phnom Penh. More importantly, I have yet to find a cadastral map.  I have been told that  an estimated  60% of people in the city do not hold title for their […]

  2. jettekh says:

    My friends at FinnMap have been working on cadastral surveys here since 1997. The biggest reasons Phnom Penh hasn’t been fully surveyed is that- a) There is a lot of rental units and people come and go on their own schedule. A proper cadastre involves all neighbors to show up to meetings to discuss proper demarcations, and b) The accuracy of air mapping is within 20cm urban (40cm rural) but with the high prices of city land it’s more complicated. People will fight over a square meter in the city but not in the countryside. So they concentrate on the countryside for hard titling. Maybe in 10-15 years Phnom Penh will get its chance…

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