3 Oct 2006

Hopes in Vanuatu for temporary moratorium on land deals

8:09 pm on 3 October 2006

There has been a call for a moratorium on land transactions in Vanuatu until all other issues are resolved.

A summit last week in Port Vila debated how to ensure both landowners and developers could benefit amid increased concern over land speculation.

The summit produced 21 resolutions which would tighten leases, ensure better environmental controls and ensure access for ni-Vanuatu to the foreshore and lagoons.

These resolutions are before the lands department and the secretary general of the Malvatumauri, or Council of Chiefs, Selwyn Garu, says they hope the first decision will be a temporary moratorium on land deals.

"We feel that before anything new could come in, before any new leases are issued, the whole thing should stop, the whole process should stop until all the recommendations, the other recommendations in the summit, the whole thing is sorted out carefully, and the administrative set up is in place and everything is O.K."