Solomons PM wants to amend Constitution to protect indigenous land

6:10 pm on 4 December 2020

The Solomon Islands Prime Minister, Manasseh Sogavare, says his government wants to amend the Constitution to restrict the sale of land to foreigners.

Solomon Islands' prime minister Manasseh Sogavare.

Solomon Islands' prime minister Manasseh Sogavare. Photo: Supplied

Sogavare made the comments during the conclusion of parliament.

Sogavare said the proposal would be an effort to protect the country's resources.

He said any amendment would include a temporary restriction on the sale of land to foreigners, the protection of indigenous people's ownership of traditional land, a relook at the customary land tenure system and the introduction of the customary lands trust board.

Permanent Secretary of Lands, Stanley Wale, recently said indigenous Solomon Islanders were selling land to foreigners.

Wale said currently there was no more land left in Honiara to be sold, saying most of it was now in foreign hands.

Prime Minister Sogavare said while his government was aware of the need to bring in investors, it also remained committed to protect its citizens, especially indigenous communities and resource owners.

Honiara rush hour

Rush hour in Honiara Photo: RNZ/ Koroi Hawkins