27 Aug 2002

Solomons bishop encourages people to stay on customary land

10:29 am on 27 August 2002

A church leader in Solomon Islands has advised new converts in the highlands of Malaita province not to move away from their customary land.

This report from George Atkin in Honiara.

"Church of Melanesia bishop of the diocese of Malaita Terry Brown says to remain on the customary land could avoid land disputes from arising in the future. Bishop Terry's advisory reverses a past Anglican practice of moving new hinter land converts to coastal areas because of easy access to medical centers, education, transport and pastoral visits. He says it was a noble ideal then but nowadays it is believed to be the main cause of land disputes in many parts of Solomon Islands. Population explosion in Solomon Islands is also believed to be another main cause of land disputes as well as a shortage of resources"