Recognising the fear endemic around land issues in Fiji Dialogue and Peace building initiatives are necessary at the national level with key stakeholders. To this end, several land owners and tenants workshops have been conducted by CCF over the last decade.
But in the last five years, and under media censorship, open debate on the conflict over the future of land use rights and administration in Fiji appears to have simmered down.
At present the conflict over the future of land use rights and administration in Fiji is ethnically and politically polarized at the state institutional levels between those who support the Agricultural Landlord and Tenants Act (ALTA) and those who reject ALTA and want native and state leases administered by the iTaukei Land Trust Board (TLTB) under the iTaukei Land Trust Act (TLTA). The advocates of the latter position were previously indigenous Fijian leaders in the former NLTB, the Council of Chiefs and government coalition of the SDL/CAMV political parties. The landowners and tenants at the grassroots have little understanding of this division at the state level.
In the CCF experience of community dialogues and civic education, one of the lessons learned is that complex problems are better resolved when there is a good understanding of the issues involved by individuals, groups and stakeholders at the primary and local level, for example with local tenant communities and the local land-owning group. Such decentralised approaches can go even further in promoting local level dialogue based on a local level capacity to deal with all the dimensions of land conflict. Such an approach may reach even further to examine local level conflict resolution mechanisms.