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Browne hails World Bank Conference a success

Browne hails World Bank Conference a success

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Local Land Surveyor and PhD Candidate at the University of the West Indies, St Augustine Campus Jamal Browne has made the call for a new CARICOM agenda on Land Administration.{{more}} Browne’s call comes in the wake of his participation in the recently concluded World Bank Conference on Land and Poverty, held at the bank’s headquarters in Washington DC, March 24th – 27th.

According to Browne, while there may appear to be fair levels of public confidence in most of the region’s land administration systems, this is likely to be attributable to a general lack of public awareness on the subject and its urgency. He further stated that the number of persons without access to formal systems to register and safeguard their land rights should be of greater concern to CARICOM Governments.

Browne in recounting his involvement in the just concluded meetings said: “The outcomes of this year’s conference clearly suggest that the prevailing land administration systems of most developing countries have failed to adequately support the well-being and livelihoods of the poor.”

He further noted: “The Conference’s Expert Group Meeting [EGM] and the Joint International Federation of Surveyors [FIG] / World Bank Spatial Innovation and Good Practices in Land Administration Forum both offered new benchmarks and key considerations in proceeding with the Post-2015 Development Agenda.”

Chief among the conference’s achievements was the launch of the Joint FIG/World Bank publication ‘Fit-For-Purpose Land Administration’, and the EGM’s proposal for a land and tenure-related target – subject to further empirical work – for the Post-2015 Development Agenda, which states: “Increase by XX% the number of women and the number of men who have secure tenure of land, property and natural resources that support their well-being and livelihoods.”

According to Browne: “Goal number 4, Objective 2.7 and Strategic Interventions 2.7 of the Government of St Vincent & the Grenadines’ National Economic and Social Development Plan suggest a local high-level awareness of the country’s land administration challenges, and an intention to address these.”

The young land surveyor holds firmly to the view that the Government of St Vincent and the Grenadines must now go beyond a mere intention, thus vigorously pursuing the idea of a Fit-For-Purpose Land Administration System that does not simply pursue the most advanced technical solutions, but also emphasizes the proper management of current land issues.

Browne, however, acknowledges, that while some CARICOM Governments have shown their intention of addressing the issue of land administration through the implementation of relevant national plans and policy instruments, that there are a few states that are yet to advance beyond the awareness phase on to the development of the requisite instruments. The call has therefore been made for a coordinated CARICOM agenda on Land Administration towards supporting security of tenure for all, the sustainable management of land use and natural resources, and meeting the needs of people and their relationship to land.

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