3 Oct 2006

Land summit in Vanuatu recommends that there be full community involvement in lease arrangements

7:42 am on 3 October 2006

One of the outcomes of a land summit in Vanuatu last week is likely to be tighter control over the issuance of leases.

The summit has come up with 21 resolutions aimed at controlling the speculation which has seen a surge in foreigners leasing prime coastal strips on Efate and Santo.

Ralph Regenvanu of the Vanuatu Cultural Centre says a key resolution was to formally acknowledge group ownership of land and that all members of a land owning group be involved in any lease deal.

He says any agreement would also need the approval of the local chiefs.

Mr Regenvanu says this should address community concerns about the widespread leasing out of coastal land to foreigners.


IN:......''And they don't have access to the sea for example. They also don't necessarily agree that their coastal areas should be leased out but it is just one individual who is taking a decision over a large area and getting the money for it and not really caring about what the community thinks. So it provides some way for community input into the whole process.