Monday, 25 August 2008 4:08 PM

Customary Land & Development

It is unfortunate that government is failing to address the customary land tenure system and indicated to move forward with possible rice or other developments on it.

This is a serious blunder and mistake on any responsible government. Without the tenure system, there is no security to any development. No doubt those Ministers at the government and members should have by now accorded with this matter, after the ethnic tension, 2000.

Without prejudice, first, Government must set up a Commission of Customary Land Inquiry throughout SI, so that, whatever policies and legislation made thereafter would reflect the tenure, and its security

Secondly, once above is done, another Commission for Customary Land Development must be set up. Based on the Commission findings and as a result of how best communal landowners would manage or control its land resources or equitably benefits, then government would come up with best policies, and legislations.

Government bypassing the above two Commissions would mean, there is no security to any customary land tenure system in SI, and hence there is no security to development that would ensued thereafter.

Planting hectares of rice, oil palm and other agriculture crops, are dealings with customary land rights and interests and not of private arrangements made with certain groups or communities as the best practice adopted during the colonial land administration.

I urge our Honourable Ministers and Ministry of Land to open up a separate office and deliberate on the option of setting of the said Commissions.

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

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