24 Oct 2005

Solomon Islands landowners' agreement could provide model for others

4:10 pm on 24 October 2005

An agreement by tribal landowners in the Solomon Islands' province of Malaita on land boundaries could provide a model for other provinces.

Abraham Baenisia of the Solomon Islands Development Trust says the agreement was reached on the customary land, which is under group ownership, so that a palm oil plantation could go ahead.

He says people now want to know who gets to benefit from the development because it is an issue of concern.

"The danger as we see it is if money is really what is to be obtained from the development that is using the land, how do we guarantee that all members of the tribe have access to that money resource. Whereas land belongs to everybody who are members of the tribe."

Mr Baenisia says a workshop is being held next month on land tenure issues and how they could be resolved.