Supporting the Eastern Caribbean States Improve Land Policies and Management
The Australian Government through Australian Agency for International Development (AusAID) is supporting the Organization of Eastern Caribbean States (OECS) to implement a project to improve land policies and land management in OECS Member States. The OECS consists of nine member States of Anguilla, Antigua and Barbuda, British Virgin Islands, Commonwealth of Dominica, Grenada, Montserrat, Saint Lucia, St Christopher (St Kitts) and Nevis, St Vincent and the Grenadines. UN-Habitat has been enlisted for technical expertise to develop the project proposal, which has been duly completed and reviewed by stakeholders. In this project UN-Habitat/GLTN, in collaboration Organization of Eastern Caribbean States (OECS), the Caribbean Network for Urban and Land Management (CNULM), University of West Indies, National Land Agencies, Other National Ministries with interest in land issues, and other Land Stakeholders including Civil Society Organizations (CSOs) and professional bodies, are supporting OECS and National governments to develop foundations for sustainable land management reflecting the Region’s aspirations for equity, efficiency and sustainability. This will entail development of OECS Land Policy guidelines highlighting the crucial importance of land management to the achievement of economic development, poverty reduction, social stability and the protection of environmentally sensitive areas.
The project’s objective was to achieve enhanced sustainability of development in the OECS – economic development, poverty reduction, social stability and the protection of environmentally sensitive areas – through the formulation, adoption and implementation of comprehensive land policies. Project implementation included concurrent implementation of quick-win interventions identified through country papers prioritization. Specifically, the expected project achievements were:
- Capacity enhancement for regional institutions to develop effective land policies through inclusive and extensive consultative processes. This will instil the ability to amicably mitigate conflicting interests and perceptions/views thereby encouraging constructive critique of land themes and successful, inclusive engagement on the land agenda.
- Formulation and adoption of OECS Land Policy guidelines, encompassing principles of equity, efficiency and sustainability, compatible with international best practices and a foundation for inclusive land management. Land Policy guidelines will be informed by issues papers that will identify prevailing land challenges in each OECS country, propose mitigation measures that should be included in policy principles and highlight priority actions that can be undertaken through project support to nurture an environment that will be conducive for policy implementation.
- National Land Policies and implementation tools approved in Grenada, St Kitts and Nevis and St Lucia based on the OECS Land Policy guidelines and adapted to national conditions.
- Successful piloting of Social Tenure Domain Model (STDM), a pro-poor land rights recording system, in collaboration with local agencies involved in land records; this will be piloted in parallel with existing systems while assessing its viability to operate full-scale.
A successful project launch workshop was held in Castries, St Lucia on 11 to 13 July 2012. This provided an opportunity for key project stakeholders to develop comprehensive understanding and consensus on the project proposals; to instil political commitment thus local leadership in project implementation; and, refine the project implementation plan in alignment with local priorities that are mindful of available resources. Procurement of consultants to support development of country issues papers, which will form the base for development of generic land policy guidelines, is proceeding. In addition the meeting resolved that STDM would be piloted in two Member States of Anguilla and St Lucia.
The meeting of the OECS Technical Advisory Committee (TAC) on environment and sustainable development was held in St Vincent and the Grenadines on 17 October 2012; followed on 18 October 2012 by the annual meeting of the Secretariat’s Ministerial Environment Policy Committee. This was an important opportunity for presenting the project to the key Ministers for the programme to ensure their commitment and involvement. This mission will included continuing discussion and planning with stakeholders in Anguilla and St Lucia about STDM pilot implementation.