Land administration in a micro-state: the role of land use planning
Wyatt, P. (2011) Land administration in a micro-state: the role of land use planning. Survey Review, 43 (323). pp. 505-522. ISSN 1752-2706
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Land policy in micro-states and the land administration that underpins it is often devised within a legacy framework inherited from a colonial past. Independence has allowed self-determination of the future political direction yet the range, legal framework, institutional structure and administration systems tend to mirror those of ex-colonial powers. Do land policies, administration systems and processes developed to serve large heavily populated countries scale down to serve the requirements of micro-states? The evidence suggests not: many land administration systems in the Caribbean face difficulties due to poor records, unclear title, exploitation of state lands, incomplete or ongoing land reform programmes, irregular or illegal settlement and non-enforced planning regulations. Land matters are typically the responsibility of several government departments and agencies responsible for land titling and registration, cadastral surveying of property interests, physical planning, taxation and financial regulation. Although planning is regarded as a land administration function, organisational responsibility usually rests with local rather than central government in large countries, but in microstates local government may be politically weak, under-resourced or even non-existent. Using a case study approach this paper explores how planning functions are organised in the Caribbean state of St Vincent & the Grenadines in relation to land administration as a whole and compares the arrangement with other independent micro-states in the region.