A CONFERENCE focusing on Land Reform in the Solomon Islands is set to take place on Wednesday 26th August 2015 at the Forum Fisheries Agency Conference Centre.
Land Reform is a key priority for the Solomon Islands government and Prime Minister Manasseh Sogavare will be reiterating the importance of land in the opening speech at the conference on Wednesday morning.
The Minister for Lands, Housing and Survey Andrew Manepora’a will be launching a report also titled ‘Building Successful Pathways for Land Reform’. The key findings of the report will then be discussed by presenters at the conference.
The conference seeks to contribute to the policy debate on land reform by considering the lessons that can be learned from both the regional experience and the experience of development on customary land in Solomon Islands.
The conference will include a number of key speakers from the Melanesian region who will also share their experience of land reform including the former Minister of Lands from Vanuatu, Ralph Regenvanu. This will be followed by a discussion of specific examples of successful economic development on customary land in Solomon Islands.
Joseph Foukona is a Solomon Islander studying for his PhD on land issues in Solomon Islands at the Australian National University. Mr Foukona was a key contributor to the report.
“Although land reform can be challenging, the good news is that building a pathway for reform is possible. I’m really looking forward to the Conference as an opportunity to have a conversation about what’s worked well in Solomon Islands and other Melanesian countries,” said Mr Foukona.
“This paper I worked on describes possible steps the Solomon Islands could consider in developing a successful approach to land reform.
“By learning from the experiences of Vanuatu, Fiji and Papua New Guinea, the Solomon Islands government can begin to design its own, unique pathway for land reform,” said Mr Foukona.