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05
October
2011

Ministry of Lands

.1 Overview
Upon Vanuatu’s independence in 1980, land was formally restored to the customary owners. The new constitution proclaimed, “ All land in the Republic of Vanuatu belongs to the indigenous custom owners and their decedents.

Land is traditionally the source of personal and clan identity, spirituality, kastom, power, and economic livelihood; without land, one lacks the very basis for survival. Land is commonly referred to as “the mother” underscoring the importance of the relationship between people and the land associated with their kinship group or clan.
The right to occupy an area of land is the closest traditional equivalent to the westernized concept “ownership”; this right is determined by chiefs and held almost without exception by men. Even in parts of Vanuatu where inheritance is matrilineal, decision making about land, including the transfer of rights to land, is generally a male domain. Rights to use land (usufruct rights), or to use the natural resources on the land, are generally vested in both men and women; women traditionally have the main responsibility for tending home gardens.


1.2 Institutional Settings
The Ministry of Lands and Natural Resources objective is to oversee the administration of the Department and units including policy directions under the programs included in the ministerial as follows;

  • Facilitate land and natural resources programs
  • Facilitate human resource management and developments
  • Facilitate finance and accounting programs
  • Coordinate policy and strategic planning
  • Coordinate institutional development and training  capacity

The executive management function reflects a move towards focusing executive decisions more on Ministry level priorities. The activity will include all of the Director General and all the directors of the Ministry’s constituent departments. The Cooperate Service Unit has been recently established under the Director General.
The centralization of financial and human resource management services at the Ministry level has proven to the more cost effective and has enabled individual departments to concentrate their efforts on their core activities.

  • Centralized human resource management and financial management and accounting service of the Ministry
  • Manage corporate governance of the Ministry
  • Manage compliance of legislation under the Ministry
  • Coordinate policy strategies of the Ministry
  • Provide assistance in implementing human resource management and development
  • Provide assistance to facilitate financial and accounting progress
  • Provide assistance in implementing legislation's under the Ministry
  • Provide assistance in policy and strategy implementation processes


The Energy Unit established under the Ministry of Lands & Land & Natural Resources is responsible for identification, implementation, management and evaluation of energy projects, as well as monitoring petroleum and electrification activities in Vanuatu.
The main office is located at George Pompidou building and is currently staffed with four permanent and three temporary Ni-Vanuatu officers. Project Funds will be monitored by the Cooperate Services and only by the Director General. As the Minister has directionary power and signatory to this fund he should allocate certain funds to support part of priorities mentioned and operational expense.
Objectives
•    To promote the use of local energy resources
•    To ensure adequate, reliable and affordable energy supplies
•    To ensure supplying of electrification into rural areas through funded projects

1.3 Development
ENVIRONMENT
Roles
•    To conduct researches, environment awareness, formulate and implement government policies for the management of Vanuatu’s environment in an ecologically sustainable manner
•    To maintain environment quality through the sustainable management of natural resources for the security and benefits of present and future generations of Vanuatu
The Environment unit was established in 1986 with the objectives to formulate and implement environment policies to ensure an ecological sustainable development in Vanuatu. Since then, there have been numerous developments that have taken effect within the unit from a one-man staff office to a current 3 professional staff plus 6 contracted project staff.
Until March 2003, the Environment Unit conducted its function only in an advisory capacity, as there was no legal framework under which the functions of the unit were given power and authority. The Environment Management and Conservation Act No.12 of 2002 is a piece of legislation which is now in effect and it makes provisions for the function of the (to be formally established) Department of Environment and Conservation (DEC). With the enactment of the Environment Management and Conservation Act, it is crucial that the budget for the department for 2010 should be continue to reflect what is required by the Act.

GEOLOGY AND MINES
There are two main activities involved;

  • Mines & Minerals
  • Geology Research

Overally, their responsibility is to promote and manage mineral resources exploration and exploitation to improve the well-being of the people and strengthen the existing knowledge to respond to volcanism and seismic activity to prevent disastrous human and material consequences of violent and gradual natural events.
Generally Geology and Mines roles are;

  • To improve research and development of mineral resources, mineral resources, mineral and hydrocarbon development to sustain the country’s economic base.
  • To promote the exploitation of indigenous energy resources, maintain sustainable natural resource development
  • To preserve natural heritage and undertake geological survey, natural hazard and risk resources investigations
  • To maintain Vanuatu Mineral Resource Database (VMRD) for the efficient access to mineral water resources and geo-hazard data

Mines and Mineral
Specifically, Mines and Mineral main roles are;

  • To improve research and development of mineral resources, mineral and hydro-carbon development to sustain the country’s economic base.
  • To promote the exploitation of indigenous energy resources, maintain sustainable natural resource development
  • To preserve natural heritage and undertake geological survey, natural hazard and risk resource investigations
  • To maintain Vanuatu Mineral Resource Database (VMRD) for efficient access to mineral water resources and geo-hazard data.

GEOLOGY
Volcanology

  • To establish an efficient and effective volcanic monitoring network in order to assess the risks associated with volcanic events then provide advice and education on ways and means of minimizing the impacts of such events


Seismology and Tsunami

  • To maintain Vanuatu one of the worldwide center for recording and monitoring seismic activities as achieved in the past through the installation of a real time monitoring network for earthquakes and Tsunami Early Warning.
  • To assess the risks associated with earthquakes and tsunami events and provide advice and education on tsunami and earthquakes risk reduction.

Author: Administrator