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Fiji Time: 5:30 AM on Wednesday 17 September

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Land bank data goes digital

Wednesday, January 20, 2010

TENANTS will be able to access information on the availability of land parcels in Fiji for business and residential development through a newly established Land Bank.

Permanent Secretary for Lands, Maria Matavewa, said yesterday that under the new system, clients and customers will be provided with data and information on the land before they lease it.

She said by introducing this system, the Government will have to take into consideration the advance of new technologies to provide accurate information reflecting what is truly on the ground.

"We have to really engage in developing and putting in place Geo Special Data infrastructure to include digital mapping, survey planning infrastructure and the geological component of the land, and the sea that is surrounding us, all in terms of accessibility and availability and the utilisation preference for any particular piece of land," Ms Matavewa said.

This would require the strengthening and consolidation of the accuracy of the Geo technique network that is available in Fiji.

"We will have to bring it up to the standard that is internationally recognised," she said.

"When we look at the surveying done on all state and native land, it is critically important that we bring in this new network in order to improve the boundaries that we all have in Fiji."

Ms Matavewa said this would determine the returns on the investment, especially on the type of land capability available in Fiji.

"We will also bring in a digital air mapping sytem which is really the adoption of advanced technology in terms of accuracy and of the land use. You have to attract the end users who will be coming into the market," she said.

"The system will also be able to reflect more accurately the subdivisions and changes using satellite imaging.".

Ms Matavewa said that it would bring about a market-driven approach, meaning every other user in the market will be able to use the information that will be affordable and accessible from wherever they are.

"For us it is important because boundaries are critical for ownership as well as investment, for returns on investment and utilisation.

"It should bring about social stability and create work, and it also safeguard environmental sustainability."

Ms Matavewa said the environment issue was something the new system would take care of.

"Land Bank talks about accuracy, reliability and accessibility for the end users," she said.

She added the new concept had arisen because the change in technology through the global satellite system made it possible.

"Not only will we be looking at the land in its naked state, but we will be looking at the forests, sea and the surroundings," she added.

Ms Matavewa said that deep sea mineral which is now beyond our reach would also be taken care of under the new system.

It would require vigorous training of staff who included land surveyors, technical offcers and IT personnel, Mrs Matavewa said.


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