Pact vital between govt, landowners

National, Normal

The National, Thursday July 11th, 2013


EFFECTIVE and constructive land management policies are needed to protect the state, customary landowners and investors, Lands and Physical Planning Secretary Romilly Kila Pat said yesterday.

He said the Government required more land for development but needed to strike a balance with the acquisition of customary land as identified in Vision 2050 plan. 

That would require protecting landowner rights while fulfilling government aspirations through proper land management for a “win-win” situation, Kila Pat said at the opening of the 

47th Surveyors’ Congress in Lae.

He added that funding was needed to execute processes in land surveying, physical planning and valuation while administration remained a challenge.

He said land accessibility was a complex and critical issue with intricate systems to the extent that human lives had been lost over land boundary demarcations and ownership issues.

“Surveyors are the front line professionals that deal everyday with land boundaries that determine land value of a portion. Surveyors need to be mindful to ensure all survey requirements are fulfilled.”

Kila Pat said almost 97% of the land in the country containing renewable and non-renewable resources belonged to customary landowners.

“However, most major impact projects occurred in rural areas while administrative centres were located in cities and towns,” he said.

“Therefore, it requires effective and constructive land management policies to protect customary landowners, investors and the state.

“Mechanisms include incorporated land groups (ILG) Amended Act 2009 and land registration (Amended) Act 2009, effective in March 2012 were designed to assist lease customary land for development purposes.” 

Kila Pat said to achieve broad-based economic growth, the Vision 2050 calls for release of 3% of arable land for productive purposes by 2020 and the development strategic plan required 20% of customary land release by 2030.