Creation of an entity to administer customary land should be considered

The administration of customary land is currently done by the Department of Lands and Physical Planning (DLPP). Customary land administration in the country has experienced various challenges since amendments were made in 2009 to the Land Groups Incorporation Act 1974 and the Land Registration Act 1981. The two amended legislations - Land Groups Incorporation (Amendment) Act 2009 and the Land Registration (Amendment) Act 2009 were aimed at facilitating the mobilisation and administration of customary land. However, the administration of customary land under the existing legal and administrative arrangements has not been working effectively.

The Spotlight: Establishment of an entity to administer customary land in Papua New Guinea should be considered Volume 14, Issue 19 by Research Fellow Logea Nao, presents the case for the government to consider establishing an entity specifically for the administration of customary land. The article also highlights that it is critical to define the roles and responsibilities to be retained at the national level and those to be decentralised to the subnational level, as well as promote security of customary land titles and derived leases through the set-up of an electronic-based title record and management system based outside of the proposed entity. 

The views expressed in this paper will assist policymakers and legislators in decisions related to the role of customary land in triggering sustainable and broad-based economic growth. 

The Publication and Media Release can be accessed on the PNG NRI website

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Authorised for release by:

Dr. Osborne Sanida
PNG NRI Acting Director

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