30 Oct 2006

Land management project to be launched in region by Forum Secretariat

7:15 pm on 30 October 2006

The Pacific Islands Forum is to launch a land management and conflict minimisation project to address the issues of security which are facing the region.

The progress report on the Pacific Plan, which was signed off by Forum leaders, says security needs to be broadened so that it doesn't just refer to external threats but internal insecurity as well.

The Forum's Director of Political Affairs, Andie Fong Toy, says they've commissioned national security studies for Forum Island countries.

She says they found that elements common to issues of insecurity included land, high unemployment and good governance.

Ms Fong Toy says as a result, the Forum is setting up a conflict minimisation and land management project.

"What we're hoping to do is provide some kind of regional framework like principles, and a how to kit. We're at the very early stage of preparing this so I can't be too specific about the details. And, that's actually quite deliberate because what we want to do is start with an open mind."

Ms Fong Toy says she expects the project to take between 18 months and two yers.