Land Reform Vital, Says Rosso

The Government is not making land reform to take away land but to empower customary landowners so they can actively participate to build a better future, said Lands Minister, John Rosso.

He said the reform initiatives will pave way for sustainable economic growth, with one of the major reform undertaken by the Department of Lands is the introduction of a National Sustainable Land Use Policy (NSLUP).

The Sustainable Land Use Policy aims to effectively promote and implement sustainable land use and management in Papua New Guinea in accordance with the policy objectives and guiding principles.

“Papua New Guinea's long-term prosperity, environmental conservation, sustainable economic growth and social inclusion and wellbeing rely on the prudent management and promotion of the best land use and development patterns.”

Wise and efficient use of land supports strong, liveable and healthy communities also protecting the environment, public health and safety thus facilitating economic growth and protecting our people's rights.

In 2000, the National Executive Council (NEC) Decision 236/2000 directed the Department of Lands and Physical Planning to develop the Land use Policy.

Since then, there has been a lot of research conducted into the field of land use planning, land and resources use.

“The NSLUP was formulated to provide an enabling framework for sustainable land use and planning which also facilitates land availability for investments and developments in the country,” Minister Rosso added.

The objectives of the NSLUP are to promote sustainable land use management and protect cultural heritage areas, the environment and natural resources for the benefit of all Papua New Guineans and to promote people-centered development, participatory;

  • Decision making
  • Responsible investments and
  • Accountable land use administration to support the equitable economic and inclusive development of the country.

The policy will help to coordinate with all relevant government authorities to produce National Sustainable Land Use Advice and Guidance and disseminate this down to the lower government levels to inform the bottom-up sustainable land-use planning process.

Freddy Mou