A Samoan academic says Pacific governments need to slow down the pace of development, particularly land reforms, to prevent the alienation of customary landowners.
Dr Iati Iati, who is a lecturer in politics at the University of Otago, says there is a concerted effort in the Pacific to free up land for investment.
He says those efforts are encouraged by organisations like the World Bank and Asian Development Bank.
"I think a lot of these organisations need to actually find out what the priorities of the ordinary people are, try to be a little bit I guess more responsive to ordinary people's interests and pursuits as opposed to pushing their own agenda and as opposed to supporting an agenda that is really only benefitting a small group in some of these countries."
Dr Iati Iati says there needs to be more consultation with landowners before governments lease land to foreign investors.