Sustaining peace through customary land recording

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 Group picture of UNDP and Ministry of Lands, Housing and Survey representatives with the customary landholding group members of the Patu Basioto community in Western Province; Photo credit: UNDP/ Anastasiia Tiurmenko

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Western province, Solomon Islands, July 15 – The UN Development Programme (UNDP) in Solomon Islands, in partnership with the Ministry of Lands, Housing and Survey, has supported the customary land recording in selected locations in Western, Guadalcanal, and Malaita provinces. The recording was carried out in accordance with the Customary Land Act, which allowed customary landholding groups to record their primary rights. 

On July 15th, UNDP and Ministry of Lands, Housing and Survey representatives handed over the certificates to the customary landholding groups of the Patu Basioto community in Western Province, confirming the recording of their lands in the Repository of the Central Land Records Office. 

Speaking at the opening of the ceremony, Hon. Ismael Mali Avui, Minister of Lands, Housing and Survey, on behalf of the Government, expressed his gratitude to UNDP for the continuous support and encouraged customary landholding group members to support the Government in the implementation of land reform programmes, “We are honored to partner with UNDP on the customary land recording, and we look forward to continuing this collaboration to support the people of Solomon Islands.”

Hon. Minister recognized the land recording process as an accelerator for reducing conflict: “Land recording plays a pivotal role in empowering people and building sustainable peace in Solomon Islands’ communities. We are bridging gaps between customary land groups and laying strong foundations for harmonious relations and social cohesion.”

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Vardon Hoca, UNDP Project Manager stated that “Addressing land issues is not easy, but it is essential for peacebuilding.”

“The land in Solomon Islands is so closely tied to people’s identity, culture, and traditions. Investing in the land recording is a tool for conflict resolution and social cohesion,” Mr Hoca further continued.

With the Sustainable Development Goals as a guiding thread, UNDP works to promote peace and inclusive societies by supporting and partnering with governments, civil society organizations and people to participate in processes to prevent conflict and sustain peace. 

The customary land recording process is being completed with the support of the Ministry of Lands, Housing and Survey by the Inclusive Governance of Natural Resources (IGNR) Project implemented by UNDP Solomon Islands and UN Women with the financial support of the United Nations Peacebuilding Fund.

UNDP is the leading United Nations organization fighting to end the injustice of poverty, inequality, and climate change. Working with our broad network of experts and partners in 170 countries, we help nations to build integrated, lasting solutions for people and planet. Learn more at www.pacific.undp.org or follow us on social at @UNDP_Pacific and @undpsolomon.

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