Publication: In Defence of Melanesian Customary Land

Date published: 10 Apr 10
This AID/WATCH publication presents Melanesian and Australian voices in defence of Melanesian customary land. The chapters touch on the broad themes of customary land in the region, as well as particular issues in Papua New Guinea and Vanuatu. Those issues include land tenure conversion, incorporated land groups, leases, the productive value of customary land, women and land, land tenure reform programs, and the social security features of traditional land tenure systems.

Click here to listen to Radio Australia interview with co-editor Tim Anderson (April 2010)

Click here to read a review published in Pacific Currents, eJournal of the Australian Association for the Advancement of Pacific Studies

Click here to download the full report 

Hard copies are $10 (including postage in Australia) and $15 (including postage outside of Australia)

To order a hard copy download and complete this order form and email it to info[at] or fax: +61 2 9557 9822

To download individual chapters click the links below

Introduction: Understanding Melanesian customary land

By Tim Anderson and Gary Lee

Downplaying defects in state-systems and overemphasising customary land tenure conversion for development in Papua New Guinea

By Steven Sukot

Land registration, land markets and livelihoods in Papua New Guinea

By Tim Anderson

Incorporated land groups and the registration of customary lands: Recent developments in PNG

By Almah Tararia and Lisa Ogle

Women in patrilineal and matrilineal societies in Melanesia

By Rosa Koian 

The traditional economy as source of resilience in Vanuatu

By Ralph Regenvanu 

Hijacking development futures: “Land development” and reform in Vanuatu

By Lara Daley 

Land and the traditional economy: “Your money, my life”

Hu i Kakae long basket blong laef? 

By Joel Simo

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