Dear Editor – The recent visit paid by the Minister of Provincial Government to the people of Isabel has been well received by the locals and the Provincial Government.
In his keynote address to mark the Province’s 31st Second Appointed Day in Buala, the minister emphasized on socio-economic development that can be successfully attained if the Provincial Government and resource owners establish strong partnerships to share resources.
He appealed to the Provincial Government to encourage the involvement of our resource owners, rural community members, and small investors to partake in decision-making that are beneficial to our economic development and help enhanced service delivery to our people.
Although the call may sound general, it is authentically suited to ponder the issues confronting us in our quest for modernization. Elucidating the factors responsible for our sluggish development pace needs comprehensive approach by all competent authorities.
Thus, the policy focus of the concerned ministry has to be distinctively reflecting the aspiration of the Province.
Isabel Province is unique in the Solomon Islands with its well-established Tripod System.
The system has been championed in orchestrating the norms and values of Isabel people.
However, it has some limitations towards the Laws of Solomon Islands especially on definitions and power allocated to the Land/Resources Owners.
There is no binding legislation to accommodate and held accountable the decisions of the Land Owners, which Solomon Islands Laws vested the power to and protecting them.
The power vested in the Land/Resource owners at times were misused either for personal or just single tribe at the expense of all tribes living and sharing the resources in a particular area.
This is one of the root causes of disunity, dispute and sluggish development pace in Isabel Province.
The need to have a binding legislation to accommodate and safe guides the empowered individual landowners is imperative towards unity and economic progress.
The right of other associated tribes living and sharing the resources with the landowning tribe over a particular area needs to be seriously considered as well.
This is if unity is to be maintained and the natural resources are to continue representing their socioeconomic values to the present and future generations.
Decisions based on consensus and respect for one another should be the way forward inthe domain of cash economy for Isabel Province. Innovative and cutting edge ideas/decisions need to be sorted to match the tides of modernization.
Empowerment, institutional strengthening, and revitalization of existing institutions are vital towards attaining social and economic progress.
And this requires technical assistance from the National Government and relevant stakeholders.
People of Isabel must embrace the development and seek less to place blame elsewhere for our condition or look for others to take responsibility.
We are masters of own fate.
In the other hand, appreciating and integrating the development aspiration of the people of Isabel to the policy approach of National Government draws in purposeful and meaningful development for the said Province.