This paper considers what an opportunity cost valuation of customary land can tell us about the pressures for land registration in Papua New Guinea (PNG). The discussion here presents a historical perspective on land registration, introduces land disputes and land markets in PNG, explains an opportunity cost valuation of land, and then suggest ways in which such valuations can help us interpret the processes of land registration. Calculations on the economic value of customary land draws on data from pilot surveys of land use in two provinces (Madang and Oro). This opportunity cost valuation demonstrates that low financial returns mislead and lease valuations probably greatly underestimate the real value of productive land in PNG. The historical experience of land registration in Africa does not support the current promises of rural credit, greater security of title and greater agricultural productivity through land registration. Further, evidence on the existing value of subsistence and cash crop production, when compared with the current value of land leases, suggests a great undervaluation of customary land is taking place. The paper concludes that the historical record on registration, combined with opportunity cost valuations, places a strong onus on the advocates of land registration to answer specific questions over the serious risks to small landowning families in Papua New Guinea.
Tim Anderson (Dr)
University of Sydney
30 April 2006
Last updated January 30, 2013.
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Last updated: February 2, 2023
Welcome to the namati.org website (the “Site”) and the Legal Empowerment Network Forum (the “Forum”) operated by Namati, Inc., a Delaware corporation (“Namati”, “we”, “us” or “our”). We share your concern about the protection of your personal information online.
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Namati may collect and retain two types of information about Site and Forum visitors: (i) personal information that individual visitors voluntarily provide when interacting on the Site or Forum or on certain other occasions (such as via forms or in emails); and (ii) tracking data, which is data that is automatically collected from every Site and Forum visitor as they use and browse the site.
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Withdraw consent at any time where we are relying on consent to process your personal data. However, this will not affect the lawfulness of any processing carried out before you withdraw your consent. If you withdraw your consent, we may not be able to provide certain products or services to you. We will advise you if this is the case at the time you withdraw your consent.
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We try to respond to all legitimate requests within one month. Occasionally it could take us longer than a month if your request is particularly complex or you have made a number of requests. In this case, we will notify you and keep you updated.
If you live in an EEA Member State, all of which have adopted the EU GDPR and national , you have a right to lodge a complaint with your relevant supervisory authority about this policy and its application. The European Commission has a list of EU national data protection authorities here:
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The Policy was updated in July 2022 to comply with the General Data Protection Regulations.