British Virgin Islands

Sunday, Aug 01, 2021

Government seeks to resolve claims to ancestral lands

Government seeks to resolve claims to ancestral lands

Minister for Natural Resources, Labour and Immigration Honourable Vincent Wheatley is encouraging partnerships to move forward amicably in relation to resolving historical claims to ancestral lands following a meeting with the Anegada Advisory Lands Committee (AALC).
Acting Permanent Secretary in the Ministry of Natural Resources, Labour and Immigration, Mr. Joseph Smith-Abbott met with members of the committee on Wednesday, June 9 to discuss the best way forward.

Honourable Wheatley said, “Claims and disputes to ancestral lands has been an issue for quite some time and I have rectified quite a few of these issues since coming into office. This is an ongoing matter that will take some time. The ministry and I are committed to rectifying and resolving as much as we can to ensure that these lands are distributed to their rightful owners, we will be working closely with the AALC on these matters.”

Acting Permanent Secretary, Mr. Smith-Abbott said the ministry is reaffirming its commitment to the process of resolving claims to the ancestral lands and looks forward to the partnership with the committee going forward.

“I would like to take this opportunity to thank the AALC for the opportunity to meet with them and discuss the best feasible way to move forward together, this partnership will be crucial to resolving this and any other issues that may arise in the future,” he said.

Meanwhile, Deputy Chairman of the Anegada Advisory Lands Committee, Mr. Gregory Levons said his committee is in support of the partnership with the ministry. He added, “I am also happy just to know that they got the chance to meet with some of the residents of Anegada to hear firsthand of what they are going through for over 100 years.”

Mr. Levons added, “We are hoping to come up with solutions as to get these existing situations dealt with. This will make Anegadians happy just to know that they are finally getting their rightfully owned lands. Let’s make this happen.”

The Ministry of Natural Resources, Labour and Immigration continues to effectively manage and administer the natural resources of the Territory in a manner that is ensures long term sustainability.

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