This Land Sector Framework (LSF) provides the foundation for a strategic plan to implement land sector reforms in Vanuatu. It is intended to guide government, the private sector and civil society in the use and management of Vanuatu’s land resources. The LSF is based on a Vision and a set of strategic objectives. It outlines implementation priorities for a LSF policy and activity agenda over a ten year period and builds upon the 2006 National Land Summit (NLS) resolutions and recent donor initiatives in the sector. To achieve this Vision, five strategic objectives have been identified which, collectively, constitute the land sector Mission: “To provide an enabling environment for multi-stakeholder participation in the effective use, management and stewardship of Vanuatu’s land resources”. The strategic objectives of the LSF are: Enhancing the governance of land;Engaging customary groups;Improving the delivery of land services;Creating a productive and sustainable sector;and Ensuring access and tenure security for all groups.Regarding the gender issue, although land legislation is gender-neutral, the implementation of the process has adopted a male bias. As such, the issue of women’s access to land has been placed on the national agenda in Vanuatu to ensure that gender-specific policies are addressed. Improved gender equality has been shown to improve social cohesion, security and economic opportunity. This is reinforced if women are included in decision-making and their rights to utilize, own and develop land are protected and their awareness of these rights is increased.Vanuatu is rich in land resources and so the potential exists to expand the productive base and increase the productivity of land already under cultivation to meet the increasing demands for agricultural produce from the urban population and the tourism sector.The LSF has fourth theme recognises that a productive and sustainable land sector is vital to economic and social development within Vanuatu. Moreover, it acknowledges that sustainability concerns should not be disregarded in favor of short-term productivity gains and that an appropriate balance must be reached if a long-lasting improvement in the quality of life and wealth of Ni-Vanuatu people is to be achieved. This will be achieved through: the promotion of sustainable land management practices to facilitate growth in allied productive sectors and by supporting the stewardship and protection of natural resources and the environment.Land tenure security is a safeguard which protects and conveys to landholders and users a sense of certainty and stewardship towards their land. This in turn enhances productivity and ensures sustainability. Policies concerned with raising productivity and economic efficiency through greater security of tenure and access to land resources are important, but they must also address the inequalities and injustices which exist in the land sector. As such, access to dispute resolution systems, the protection of vulnerable groups, and studies on the impacts of land reform are important outcomes under this theme. The third strategy of LSF is to strengthen land tenure security. This strategy will include all landholders and users, including women, children and vulnerable communities. This will involve a review of land tenure laws to assess their complexity and simplify where appropriate, while ensuring that adequate tenure security safeguards are either maintained or added.LSF implementation is divided into two (2) five year periods and will require alignment with the GoV budget cycle and planning horizons. This will facilitate its integration with the corporate and annual planning of the government agencies and stakeholders involved in its implementation. It is envisaged that new initiatives and approaches for the land sector will be designed, piloted and evaluated during implementation.
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