The Minister of Lands, Housing and Survey, Hon. Ishmael Avui has applauded the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) for its support towards implementing the Customary Land Recording Programme in Solomon Islands.
The Customary Land Recording programmes was carried out in accordance with the Customary Land Act, which allowed customary landholding groups to record their primary right of ownership and usage of their land.
Hon. Avui led a joint Government and UNDP delegation to Western Province on 15 July to handover a certificate of completion to the Patubasioto Customary Landholding group in the Vona Vona Lagoon after the successful recording of their customary land in accordance to the Customary Land Recording Act.
Hon. Avui expressed his gratitude to the UNDP for the ongoing support and encouraged customary landholding group members to support the Government in the implementation of land reform programmes,
“A great thanks and appreciation to our development partner UNDP’s Inclusive Governance for Natural Resources Project for your great support towards achieving this journey. It means so much with your support in engaging your time towards our national development. It is also our national joy and pride in marking this great achievement,” Mr Avui said.
“I believe that with all our conviction and support, it changes the perception of how we view challenges on customary land. The purpose of recording land under the Customary Land Records Act derives from the challenges and long history of land administration and management under the Torrens Land Registration System that Solomon Islands adopted since 1978,” Avui added.
Meanwhile, UNDP Project Manager, Vardon Hoca who traveled with Minister Avui to Western Province acknowledged that addressing land issues in many places is not easy but emphasized the addressing land issues is essential for peacebuilding.
“The land in Solomon Islands is so closely tied to people’s identity, culture, and traditions. Investing in the land recording is a tool for conflict resolution and social cohesion,” Mr Hoca said.
With the Sustainable Development Goals as a guiding thread, UNDP works to promote peace and inclusive societies by supporting and collaborating with governments, civil society organizations and people to participate in processes to prevent conflict and sustain peace.
The customary land recording process is being implemented by the Ministry of Lands, Housing and Survey under the Inclusive Governance of Natural Resources (IGNR) Project implemented by UNDP Solomon Islands and UN Women with the financial support of the United Nations Peacebuilding Fund.