PRESS RELEASE – In 2014, the Ministry of Physical Development, Housing and Urban Renewal, with support from the Organisation of Eastern Caribbean States (OECS) Commission, conducted a series of studies and consultations that led to the preparation of a revised National Land Policy for Saint Lucia.
This Policy recognises that land is our main resource for development, that land issues are very complex; and that the country must be guided by clear and progressive measures when dealing with issues pertaining to land and development.
With this proposed policy in hand, the Ministry is now launching an initiative to inform the public of the provisions of the Policy; and to seek feedback and additional recommendations on the same. More importantly, the initiative is intended to generate broad-based support forpolicy implementation. The OECS Commission is again providing financial assistance to this education and public awareness initiative, which will involve inter alia, media events and working sessions with professional associations and other stakeholders.
As part of the public awareness activities, the Ministry of Physical Development will utilize popular theatre as one of the vehicles of communication. With the assistance of experienced theatre director and cultural activist Kennedy Boots Samuel, a group of actors which includes four Ministry employees, is currently creating a theatre production that will illustrate some of the main land issues and explain how a good land policy can be beneficial for Saint Lucia. Over the next few weeks, this production will be featured at community events and other encounters and will be adapted for television.
At this stage in our national development, Saint Lucia needs to improve the management of its land resources; to reduce vulnerability; to optimize the contribution of land to socio-economic development, livelihoods and cultural identity; and to rationalize land use and settlements. This is what a land policy should achieve. In this regard, the Ministry of Physical Development looks forward to the engagement of the public so as to make the revised policy a reality. At the end of this process (i.e. in and around December 2015), the National Land Policy will be formally submitted to the Cabinet of Ministers for consideration and approval.