Common issues affecting Melanesia are grouped under themed headings below. For information on themes not listed here please use the search box in the top right hand corner.

Food Security

Food security or food sovereignty is about the right of people to access and grow food. Customary land that provides food security to many people is under threat from the push to open land up for mining and development projects and large scale commercial agriculture for exports.

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Land Reform

Many Melanesian countries are unique in that the vast majority of land is held under customary ownership. Customary land ownership has come under sustained attack from those who see it as a block to ‘development’. Aid and development programs, international treaties and industries have been pushing for land reform across Melanesia leading to land grabs.

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Foreign investors, particularly those representing real estate investors and developers have been increasing their presence in Melanesia over the past 20 years. The development of holiday apartments and resorts has led to some people being removed from their land, and access to beaches and traditional fishing areas cut off. The arrival of large number of tourists also jeopardises local cultures.

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Traditional Economy

The traditional economy is bound in the economic, social and political fabric of communities, protecting customary land, culture, laws and language. The traditional economy includes traditional methods of farming, hunting and gathering which have provided resources and foods that have sustained communities for thousands of years.

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