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close this section of the library Land tenure -- Economic aspects -- Solomon Islands -- Malaita Province

View the PDF document Land disputes and politics of economic development in Solomon Islands : the case study of Bina, West Kwaio, Malaita
Author: Fa'abasua, Fredrick
Institution: University of the South Pacific.
Award: M.A.
Subject: Land tenure -- Economic aspects -- Solomon Islands -- Malaita Province, Land use, Rural -- Government policy -- Solomon Islands -- Malaita Province, Solomon Islands -- Economic policy
Date: 2014
Call No.: Pac HD 1289 .S6 F33 2014
BRN: 1201274
Copyright:20-40% of this thesis may be copied without the authors written permission

Abstract: This thesis examines the causes of ‘customary land disputes’ in the context of modern ‘economic’ development in Solomon Islands, and draws out the implications of such an understanding for re-thinking the established approaches to dispute resolution. It does so by examining the case study of the Bina harbour development project in Malaita. The research conducted was based on a qualitative approach and a semi-structured questionnaire was used to guide in-depth individual interviews and focus group discussions. A total of 32 participants mostly community leaders, chiefs and landowners around and in Bina village, and West Kwaio were involved. Studying the history of the Bina land disputes and the harbour development in detail has demonstrated the complexity of the issue. The relationship of the land disputes with the Bina harbour development can be traced back to the historical influence in Bina, West Kwaio, namely the contacts with Europeans and the labour trade, Christianity, the cash economy and the government policies. This all led to many changes in customary land tenure practices and the rise of new leaders, which contributes to the land disputes that resulted in the lack of the Bina harbour development project. The study reveals that the lack of understanding of changes in custom land practices led to the failure of individuals and government to deal with the issue. As a result, the land disputes became more complicated. The measures taken became contributing factors instead of the remedies for addressing the problem. The different development approaches used to address the issue also remain problematic. This was due to the lack of compatibility with the different approaches used to engage customary land for development. Hence, this study has identified some implications for dispute resolution for the Bina land disputes which may be relevant to Malaita and to Solomon Islands more broadly.
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