Customary land is land which is owned by Indigenous communities and administered in accordance with their customs, as opposed to statutory tenure usually introduced during the colonial periods. Common ownership is one form of customary land ownership.
Statutory recognition and protection of indigenous and community land rights continues to be a major challenge. The gap between formally recognized and customarily held and managed land is a significant source of underdevelopment, conflict, and environmental degradation.
In most countries of the Pacific islands customary land remains the dominant land tenure form. Distinct customary systems of tenure have evolved on different islands and areas within the Pacific region. In any country there may be many different types of customary tenure.
- AusAID:Making Land Work: Reconciling customary land and development in the Pacific, Canberra 2008 Archived 2009-09-14 at the Wayback Machine., retrieved 2009-09-07
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