Customary land recording commences in Isabel

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ISABEL Province will commence Customary Land Recording Friday this week as a result of combined efforts by the National Government, the Isabel Provincial Government, the Isabel Council of Chiefs and the Pacific Community (SPC) with financial support from the Australian Government.

Stakeholders of Barora Fa, Ghage and Pizuana will congregate at Kia for a Public Hearing to represent claims on customary interests over identified lands and the chain of islands linking the Arnavon Islands at the western end of Isabel Province.

The Public Hearing is fixed to commence following a one month public notice to hear claims over customary interests in the specified areas following a Government declaration to carryout recording of customary land in Isabel.

The Minister of Lands, Housing and Survey, earlier this year declared Isabel Province as a Customary Land Recording Province which has resulted in the appointment of the Isabel Customary Land Recorder.

The Commissioner of Lands, Mr Alan Mcneil is pleased with the progress of work so far. In the current exercise, the Surveyor General will be heavily involved, as they will carry out the mapping of customary boundaries.

The Commissioner of Lands further confirmed that this is a National Government undertaking and has the full support of the Ministry and especially the Customary Land Records Office. This exercise will roll out into the next 2 weeks.

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Meanwhile, the Zabana House of Chiefs is optimistic that the exercise will be successful and landholding clans, families and individuals will be able to record their interest in custom over their Customary Land.

This will be an affirmation of rights and interest as to custom over the Customary Land by Land holding entities.

The Public Hearing will be attended by the Isabel Customary Lands Record Office, Isabel Provincial Government’s Culture and Lands Division and Officers from the Public Solicitors Office (LALSU).

A brief program will include awareness on related matters and common issues as to Customary Land to be conducted by officers of the LALSU and the Isabel Customary Land Records Office.

Other regions in Isabel have also indicated willingness to undertake this process as it appears to be an appropriate intervention to Customary Land management issues faced by various land holding entities.

–GCU

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