Draft: A Review of Land and Forestry Law in Vanuatu and Their Implications for Designing Forest Based Emission Trading Activities in Vanuatu
The Vanuatu Carbon Credit Project is aiming to create or preserve carbon sinks to assist in their climate regulation role in a way that also contributes to the development and welfare of the people of Vanuatu. To achieve this end it will be necessary to put in place legal instruments to help protect areas of forest in Vanuatu for the long term. There are several legal mechanisms in Vanuatu that could be employed to do this. This paper analyses five methods and concludes that leasing the land or the establishment of a community conservation area are the two best methods available. To reach this conclusion the law relating to land, forests and timber in Vanuatu is examined. Of particular interest is the provision that specifically affirms carbon sequestration as a forestry right. As well as legislation, custom plays an important role in the law of Vanuatu and some of the implications of this are discussed.