Geoff undertook a second mission to the Solomon Islands from 21 July – 03 August as part of the joint World Bank Justice for the Poor (J4P)/UN-HABITAT project on public land governance in the capital, Honiara. The mission team was led by Victor Vergara, Urban Sector Leader, East Asia Pacific, and included Shaun Williams, Land and Natural Resources Governance Adviser, Justice Reform, Legal Vice Presidency, Sarah MecArtney, UN-HABITAT Programme Manager for the Pacific and Geoff Payne, international adviser.
The mission team met members of the secretariat to the new National Task Force established by the Cabinet in October 2011 in order to discuss support for the Task Force once it has met. The team also met many other stakeholders from private and civil society groups and made presentations to an invited group as a basis for consideration. A tour was also made of the city and surrounding area to see developments on urban land and housing.
The mission then visited Port Vila, the capital of Vanuatu, where an intensive round of meetings was held with senior officials in the Ministries of Internal Affairs and Lands, a Member of Parliament, the Lord Mayor, Town Clerk, chiefs from the Port Vila Council of Chiefs, the Director of the Department of Local Authorities, planning professionals and staff from AusAid. A tour was also made of the city to see a range of housing types, both formal and informal.