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Customary Land Tenure in a Changing Context

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Type: Conference Paper
Author: Kila Pat, Romily L.
Conference: Traditional Lands in the Pacific Region: Indigenous Common Property Resources in Convulsion or Cohesion
Location: Brisbane, Australia
Conf. Date: September 7-9, 2003
Date: 2003
URI: https://hdl.handle.net/10535/1550
Sector: Land Tenure & Use
Region: Pacific and Australia
Subject(s): IASC
land tenure and use
property rights
customary law
rural development
Abstract: "Over ninety-seven percent of the land in Papua New Guinea is under customary ownership. Cultivation of this land, be it in the form of subsistence farming or cash cropping is mostly confined to areas ideally suited for agriculture and offers excellent prospect for more selective arable and tree crops while land in some parts of the country compose of grassland, swampts, steep slopes and infertile soils. "The remaing three- percent is alienated land and is held under state and the private sector. Land uner private sector refers to those lands that were acquired under colonial administration and granted as freehold leases while the land under state ownership is represented by the towns and cities. "The curent government policy is geared towards an export driven economy with emphasis on rural development and poverty reduction. This would mean that land has to be accessed to facilitate this policy. However, this has to come at a price and that is addressing the ninety-seven percent of the land that is under customary ownership. It is in this respect that a mechanism has to be put in place to faciliate the process of accessing this land. "The focus of the paper will look at the scenario of the past that paved the way forward, the impact of the modern socio-economic systems, customary land tenure under the microscope and the proposed legislation on customary land registration."

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