A potential strategy for promoting effective access, administration and governance of customary land, and effective resolution of disputes relies on a successful land administration system.
This is stated in the latest PNG National Research Institute report titled “Strategies to address challenges in customary land administration, governance and dispute resolution in Papua New Guinea” that was released today.
The report by Dr. Flora Kwapena, Logea Nao and Jerry Birop states that a robust customary land administration system should possess sustainability elements including but not limited to the following:
• Capacity building and sufficient recurrent budget to maintain the operations of all organisations involved in the
National Land Development Program (NLDP);
• Good governance, transparency and accountability particularly within the Department of Lands and Physical Planning
• Effective mechanism to ensure security of land records from loss, destruction and fraud;
• Effective and efficient computerised workflow systems to better manage and monitor DLPP administrative processes;
• Facility to ensure that survey and legal data recorded in the field, together with maps and titles are held in a relational
database, with a GIS spatial system providing records management, so there is ease of data processing and management;
• Effective coordination mechanisms for ongoing stakeholder participation and public awareness on customary land
“Having an effective customary land administration system that delivers a secure and bankable land title of the underlying land
for owners and users is necessary for landowners to protect their ownership rights but at the same time, release their land for
commercial opportunities,” the report states.
“It is also critical for those that invest on customary land to obtain optimal returns on their investment on the land. Achieving
both has the potential to contribute to an increase in tax revenue for the State.
“The revenue can be chanelled to improve the delivery of public goods and services. An effective and secure land administration
system, therefore, has the potential to provide a ‘win-win’ situation for all parties that have an interest in customary land.”