Thursday, 5 March 2009 3:56 PM

Auluta Palm Oil?

Auluta palm oil project will be leading development for Malaita, as stated by few writers. For me that objective will come under cross fire, sooner.

The hanging issue is whether all landowners surrendered their right to control over the said land to the trust board and whether the trust board will act in their best interest. There is no legal mandate as such for the land trust board. Therefore, such loop holes, will allow landowners to attack the trust board sooner, when their interests are not adequately addressed or met.

No doubt most landowners will continue to use the said area for subsistence farming and still have customary land right to control it. Whether that right extinguished or not, that is a matter for the government of the day to investigate.

Whether the good will payment is a compensation package for landowners surrendering their land for the said project, is another issue.

Without preempting the issue, there is no security to the management model drawn so far on the said project. Therefore, there is an open ended loop hole for land, and development dispute.

I urge the Government to demarcate the legal authority of the land trust board now, without further delay, since; dispute is eminent to arise at any time.







Disclaimer: The views and opinions expressed in this letter/article are those of Hiuare and do not necessarily reflect the official policy or position of Solomon Times Online.

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