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3.1 Land consolidation is sometimes incorrectly interpreted to be only the simple reallocation of parcels to remove effects of fragmentation.

In reality, land consolidation has been associated with broader social and economic reforms from the time of its earliest applications in Western Europe.

Family farmsteads, originally placed in old established villages, were resettled at the external perimeter of the consolidation project area.

As access to motor vehicles became more widely available, travelling from village to field was easier and modern villages became viewed as more suitable for retaining the rural population than isolated farmsteads.

Concepts of rural development have become much broader and have expanded to include increased environmental awareness and a wide range of nonagricultural applications.

The emphasis of land consolidation projects has shifted from a focus on restructuring agriculture to one of achieving more efficient multiple use of rural space by balancing the interests of agriculture, landscape, nature conservation, recreation and transportation, especially when land is required for the construction of major roads.

3.2 Land consolidation has always been regarded as an instrument or entry point for rural development.

3.11 Procedures for land consolidation projects vary from one country to another but they generally involve the initiation of the project, design of the project, inventory of existing land rights and land values, elaboration of the detailed consolidation plan showing the new parcel layout, implementation of the plan, and finally a concluding phase in which final records are produced. c) Preparation of an initial concept plan that states the aims of the proposed project and approximate estimates of costs and sources of financing.

b) Construction of public works (agricultural improvements, levelling, drainage, new roads with bridges and culverts, etc.) c) Survey of new boundaries on the ground.

3.12 The allocation of responsibilities for carrying out these steps also varies between jurisdictions.

3.4 Environmental conditions are being given increasing priority. Water bodies are being restored, often with buffer zones.

Land consolidation projects are also used for the protection of wetlands and to change land use patterns especially in areas endangered by frequent floods or soil erosion.

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