Thursday, September 30, 2010

Land

The FAO Working Paper Good Governance and Natural Resources Tenure in the Caribbean (Aug 2010) by Dr. Charisse Griffith-Charles of UWI's Faculty of Engineering discusses this issue which affects all Caribbean nations and citizens. Dr. Griffith points out that 'land governance policy in the Caribbean is currently conflicted between internally led pro-poor programmes such as housing provision and lax land tax and squatting enforcement on the one hand, and externally initiated economic directives from international banks such as advice to divest state held lands and to improve land tax recovery on the other'. Overall it seems that few success stories in good governance practice were found, with the exception of Saint Lucia. Though brief (30 pages) the Paper alerts us to the fact that issues such as crime and violence, corruption and national governance are interlinked with land governance. Can land administration/governance be a barometer of good national governance itself? The author also advocates for family land tenure and that 'communal and participatory mechanisms can be used to distribute the efforts and capacities required for sound management of land' - though pointing out that this may be contrary to modern administration. Thanks Peter Rabley.

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