PNG, Solomon Island and Vanuatu – Impressed by TLTB’s Land Management Model

THERE has been a lot of interest by our Melanesian brothers on how the iTaukei Land Trust Board (TLTB) is managing customary land for the indigenous people of Fiji.

In recent weeks, TLTB had hosted a number of delegations and knowledge exchange missions from Central Province in Papua New Guinea, Island of Malaita in the Solomon Islands and very recently the Vanuatu Government.

General Manager Mr Tevita Kuruvakadua said most of these countries in the Pacific were aware of the fact that TLTB was a very unique organization especially in the areas of land management services in the world – let alone in the Pacific.

“While we are looking back at the last 75 years since the establishment of TLTB in 1940; our Melanesian brothers are still trying to envision how to set up a similar model and to benchmark TLTB process and procedures within a proper legal framework that will work for them. Who knows they may come up with something that is better than the TLTB model,” he said.

Head of Delegation of the Malaita Government from the Solomon Islands Mr Francis Kairi said that TLTB was a powerhouse.

“A good customary land management system is what we want because right now it is not clear who owns what and where exactly can they draw their land boundary lines,” he said.

Mr Kiari was glad that they had finally managed to come to TLTB saying that it was not going to be the last.

This was not the first time such interest from delegations and mission groups were received at TLTB. A number of other provinces from other countries visited last year and the year before last – all for the same reason.