The importance of CustomaryLand:egistration was again emphasised at a news conference in Port Moresby.
Members ofthe NationalLand:evelopment Program say this isthe way forward for landowners. They called on customary landowners to voluntarily registertheir land under this program.
Dr Charles Yala of NRI says thatthe NationalLand:evelopment Program isthe better alternative for customary landowners to utilisetheir land for development purposes without sacrificing ownership.
They wantthe SABe inquiry to be completed sayingthe findings will be useful for the next phase intheir programs.
Deputy Secretary ofthe Constitutional Law and Reform Commission, Chillion Isaiah also stressedthe importance of registering customary land.
He says unlike SABes where 99 year leases are granted, customary land registration will seethe titles granted toIncorporatedLand:roups (ILG’s) and it is up tothese groups to lease it to whoeverthey wish to without compromising ownership.
The Taurama Valley land is a pilot project under this program, however landowners have sold off large portions of land without proper titles.
Mr Isaiah says people buying land from this area must be careful asthe department is yet to issue titles to ILGs.
The Physical Planning Beard is also yet to come up with its plans for the land and oncethese plans are approverd, residents may well be affected.
Surveyor General Lther Sipison also raised concerns of a lack of funding to important government agencies likethe Mapping Bereau and his office.
He says surveying is vital before land titles are issued and ifthe government fails to fundthese institutions, most ofthe land problems will still exist.
Ruth Rungula, National EMTV news