The Solomon Islands Democratic Party spokesman, Mathew Wale, has urged Solomon Islanders to "bravely confront the issue of Land reform in the country to move the nation forward."

Speaking yesterday at Lilisiana Village in Auki, Malaita Province, the candidate for Aoke Langa Langa, Mr Wale said land reform is the key to "unlocking the economic potential of Solomon Islands."

He said that customary land owners can facilitate economic development in a fair, transparent and timely manner if resource owners are recognized and protected.

Mr Wale said the Solomon Islands Democratic Party, in its policy document proposes to enact before Parliament a Tribal Lands and Resources Act.

He said this will pave the way for customary and tribal lands to be registered where all members of respective tribes have their rights secured and allows land dealings to be managed in are fair, transparent and efficient manner.

Mr Wale said that land is a basic safety net for all Solomon Islanders and that land reform in the country must aim to enhance access rights to land for all Solomon Islanders.

He said the reform must also assure certainty and security of title to investors whilst ensuring fair recognition to tribal landowners.

About 80 percent of all land in Solomon Islands is under customary tenure.