THE Secretariat of the Pacific Community (SPC) is working towards establishing land use policies for Pacific Island countries and Territories (PICTs).
Speaking at the Heads Of Agriculture and Forestry Services regional meeting in Nadi last week, Inoke Ratukalou, the acting director of the SPC's Land Resources Division, said the first land use policy, which was for Fiji, had been completed and the organisation was focusing on developing a similar document for the Cook Islands.
"The LRD has been tasked with producing land use policies for the Pacific," he said.
"These guidelines are important as they directly influence how crops are planted and the types of land they are planted on.
"By using a more participatory approach, the Land Resources Division hopes to entice communities to take more interest in the work we're doing.
"Instead of a top down decision, the land use policies are very consultative in nature which helps us vector in climate change adaptation and disaster risk management strategies into the policy itself."
Mr Ratukalou said apart from helping produce land use policies, the division also helped in the establishment of land zoning.