Planning & Enforcement Q & A



What is a Certificate of Negotiation?

This is a certificate you must obtain if you wish to lease a plot of land that has never been leased.

What rights do I have with a Negotiator Certificate?

This certificate allows a lessee to negotiate with the lessor (custom land owner of the plot of land in question).

Without a negotiator certificate you have no right to negotiate for a lease.

Can i develop my Land as soon as i obtain a Negotiator Certificate?

 No. After obtaining a Certificate of Negotiation, a lessee must wait for 12 months before they can start developing their land.
Where can i Obtain a Certificate of Negotiation? Application forms for a Certificate of Negotiation may be collected from the Planning unit of the Department of Lands in Vila or in Santo.
What is the Fee?

The Application Form Fee is 1,000vt. A processing fee of 1,531vt is charged when you submit your form.

However, the amount stated above are subject to change pending revisions being made. Be sure to attached your receipt with your application, otherwise your application will not be considered.

 How should custom owners of an area to be leased be Identify?

A Custom owner Identification form states who the custom owner is, and should be submitted to the Lands Department. When submitted, it must have attached the minutes of Council of Chiefs meeting on the land concerned. These minutes must include the date, place and time of meeting and the names of the chairman or secretary and his contact details.

 What does the National Land Summit have to say about the Negotiation Certificates?  The Land Summit Resolution No.7 states that 'A notice must be given out on each application for negotiation to the Chiefs and Village Council of the area where the Land is located'.
 Where can i Find more Information? The Planning Unit can help you with any queries.
What does 'Zoning' mean?

 Zoning refers to how the Government(national, provincial and municipal) plans the varying land uses in urban areas.

Why is Zoning necessary?

Zoning is a planning tool that defines, direct regulates and limits the development use of land, for various type of activities or land use. Zoning is needed to ensure that land development is carry out in suitable locations.

Zoning is a type of 'physical Planning' which deals with how best to utilize our natural resources and environment. Physical planning is also important because we need a plan to allocate services such as roads, electricity and sewers.

What are the types of activities or land use included in Zoning?

Zoning covers various land-use zones according to the existing lease classification.

Residential - Areas where people live.

Commercial - where businesses maybe operated.

Industrial - Areas where factories maybe operated.

Agricultural - Areas where food crops can be planted, forestry can be carried out and livestock can be farmed.

Special - Areas that the Government acquired for public interest such as Hospitals, Correctional Center, Airport etc....or where activities that do not fit in the above categories such as leasing in area to operate a church or to install telecommunication towers.

 I've never heard of Zoning, has this been introduced recently in Vanuatu?

 Yes, The Government of Vanuatu start drafting Zoning maps of urban areas in 2006 as there has never been any proper planning for providing services and making space for different land-use. Zoning maps now exist for land use in all the main towns of the country in Port Vila, Luganville and Lenakel. Zoning maps are now prepared for Lakatoro and Loltong.

What is an example of Zoning?

The luck of sufficient Planning in the past has resulted in houses being build in fertile lands that could have been used for planting food crops. If zoning is not used effectively(E.g. Zoning out where to build houses and what areas to use for farming) we will run out of space to do farming and this may result in shortage of food in the future. This example is very important because our population is increasing significantly.

Will Zoning be carried out in other areas of the country or on custom land?

Zoning is applied to urban areas only, if a particular land is declared as public land, the Government will declare a new 'Physical Planning Area' and a zoning plan and map are prepare for this area.

Can i look at Zoning Map? Yes, you can look at the Zoning Map at the Department of Physical Planning, with the Provincial Planners and Municipal Planners.
Where can i fine more information? The Lands Survey section or the Physical Planning Unit of the Ministry of Internal Affairs can help you out with more information concerning Zoning survey.



How do I fill in the application form?

The following steps should be taken to complete the form (Failure to comply with those requirements will result in your application being declined):

1. Fill the details in the application form.

2. Check that you haven't missed any details in the application form and that all the required signatures are included.

3. Ensure that all the information in the application form are honest and true. You will be fined for any false information given.

4. Applications for agricultural, commercial or tourism lease must include a plan.

5. The Development Plan must clearly state the type of activity you plan to undertake on your land and the surface area of the land you are planning to develop.

6. Any change of names in the application which have been approved must be submitted to the Land Management Planning Committee (LMPC) for approval.