Issues with land reform in Vanuatu

1 Dec 2008

Ralph Regavanu, Journal of South Pacific Law 2008. Land is the principal economic resource available to indigenous Pacific Islanders, a fact directly attributable to national constitutions and legislation which enshrine in the Pacific the highest rate of customary land ownership in the world. Land issues, accordingly, and in particular attempts at land reform, have a vexed history in the region. In Vanuatu, the 2006 National Land Summit has initiated an ambitious program of land reform which aims to clarify policies, introduce new legislation and amend existing laws. This paper will identify the main reasons why land reform is required in Vanuatu and what some of the most pressing legal issues in this regard are.

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