Stop Marau land registering

Marau sound. Picture: Conflict Bay lodge
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ACTIONS of individuals or families to register any customary land in Marau, east Guadalcanal, must be stopped immediately.

This is according to spokespersons of Centre Peace — an advocacy movement for peace in Marau, Rocky Mauana and Edwin Esau Pori.      

“Authorities must stop accepting wrongful or unlawful registration of lands in Marau coastal area unless it is through right process and procedure in accordance to the laws of the country,” the two said.

They said any development planned for Marau must go through proper procedure, from the national government or investors through the Guadalcanal provincial government and down to rightful landowning groups or tribes.

“Land and resources must be protected for people. Any development in Marau must go through right process from the top down to the House of Chiefs who then will identify rightful land owners so that land for development is agreed to by people and acquired lawfully.”

The two said an individual in Marau recently received a considerable payment, and as such they want to caution the relevant authorities not to deal with individualism. 

“That is why the establishment of the House of Chiefs is very important, and it must form immediately,” said Mr Mauana.

The two adviced the land-owning groups in Birao ward on Marau to work closely with the Guadalcanal Provincial Government to protect and manage their land and resources.    

The two said any form of payment for land and sea resources must be for tribe or resource owners and not to certain individuals.

“Anything about land or sea needs proper dialogue and parties involved must come to a mutual agreement. We need to get rid of individualism,” Mauana said.

Mr Pori adds there is a need to create a model or concept to address land issues in Marau to get rid of individualism where only certain individuals benefit from development funding or payment. 

The two acknowledged the Guadalcanal provincial government for supporting the establishment of House of Chiefs in Guadalcanal province.

“Marau is an economic zone in Guadalcanal with huge plans ahead, and creation of a model or concept is important for development in Marau,” Pori said.