Resource Development on Customary Land - Managing the Complexity through a Pro-Development Compensation Solution

The World Bank
Publication Type:
Conference Proceeding
Annual World Bank Conference on Land and Poverty 2012, 2012, pp. 1 - 28
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This research explores how an equitable compensation model can be formulated for resource rich developing countries, like those in Melanesia, where the principles of customary land ownership are protected by Constitutions and traditions alike. Currently, the approaches taken to compensate customary landowners for the loss of access to their traditional subsistence and spiritual recognition to the land is somewhat ad hoc. We use law as an analytical concept to articulate disconnected worldviews between indigenous values and capitalist interests, applying these interpretations to what we refer to as the Plurality of Registers. We review compensation regimes around the world, analysing legislation, decided cases and resulting problems, basing our findings on a combination of fieldwork and community engagement, discussions with NGOs and government agencies. We investigate four compensation approaches (tailored to landowner rights, tailored to common rights, development driven quantification, and negotiated agreement), which we incorporate into a 'hybrid' model. Through a stakeholder and rights based analysis of a mining infrastructure scenario, we demonstrate the efficacy of the synergistic value approach, a method more familiar to the valuation profession than mainstream economists, arguing that it has more to offer in the context of equitable land resource compensation in Melanesia.
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