LANDS SUMMIT HOPES TO MAP OUT SUITABLE LAND MODEL

Honiara land. Photo credit: www.paxgaea.com

Honiara land. Photo credit: www.paxgaea.com

The Ministry of Lands, Housing and Survey hopes the Land Summit currently underway in Honiara will better inform them to map out a suitable lands model for Solomon Islands.

Permanent Secretary of the Lands Ministry, Stanley Wale told SIBC News in an exclusive interview this week, for so long Solomon Islands has been on a trial and error mechanism in terms of land in the country.

He says the current Lands and Titles Act is the only mechanism to enter into customary land for public purposes, but there are
limitations to the Act, especially for the landowners.

“We can use the current Lands and Titles Act to access customary land only for public purposes, so it has a lot of limitations that gave no freedom for customary landowners to do whatever they want or to negotiate with the banks in terms of security titles. So what I am saying is our current land laws do have a lot of limitations which cannot encourage landowners to enter into development by themselves at their own will and not the Government pushing in.”

Meanwhile, Mr. Wale said the Land Summit will really help the Ministry as they will learn from regional experiences.

“So this Land Summit will really help us because we will be looking at the different experiences from our Melanesian brothers and we will also create our own pathway, but as Joseph has mentioned, the processes and a lot of issues involved are what we really need to look into and this Land Summit is designed for that, that we will get the most out of it to inform the government so that we can make the way forward for our customary landowners.”

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