Saint Lucia's National Land Policy

National urban policy type
Partial - Territorial Plan
National Land Policy of Saint Lucia 2007

Saint Lucia's National Land Policy is intended to provide policy guidance for the use and management of Saint Lucia’s limited, and priceless, land resource, well into the future. It is grounded in the belief that land should be managed in such a manner as to allow Saint Lucians to have access to land, and the services that it provides, on an equitable basis. It also recognizes the need to strengthen and consolidate the institutional and legal framework necessary to ensure that, especially given the wide range of competing demands, land is managed in a fashion that will maximize the economic and environmental benefits to society, on a sustainable basis.

[Foreword by the Minister of Physical Development, Environment and Housing, pg. 2]

Date

( ! ) This content is available only in the original language.

Institutionality

Formulating Institution

Ministry of Economic Development, Housing, Urban Renewal, Transport and Civil Aviation

Elaboration process

This National Land Policy document is the culmination of a process that started in 2000. That process, overseen by a broad-based National Land Policy Committee, involved consultations with, and the involvement of, a wide range of stakeholders. Such a process was considered necessary, given the central role that land plays in every aspect of our existence. Therefore, while the policy formulation process may have taken some time to complete, the final product can be considered to be representative of the needs and concerns expressed by those consulted.

[Foreword by the Minister of Physical Development, Environment and Housing, pg. 2]

Executive Body

Ministry responsible for Physical Development

[Policy implementation: Institutional arrangements, pg. 18]

Urban focus

Urban dimension of policy

Development planning and human settlements

Main objective of the urban dimension

  • Use proactive and integrated approaches to development planning and land management.
  • Revitalise urban centres (notably Castries and Vieux Fort) through the rationalisation and maintenance of residential uses and the development of commercial and touristic enterprises in city centres.
  • Decentralise urban, commercial and industrial development, to avoid further congestion in the northwest corridor.
  • Improve the efficiency of space utilisation, increase residential densities in urban and peri-urban areas, and encourage the efficient distribution of land among competing uses.
  • Discourage and reduce squatting, be it for agricultural or residential purposes.
  • Mitigate and, whenever possible, prevent the negative social and environmental impacts of all forms of land development.
  • Integrate land management and development issues into all relevant policies and programmes.

[Policy directions: Development planning and human settlements, pg. 8]

Urban strategic objectives

  • Use the Integrated Development Planning approach, to guide all forms of development.
  • Preparation of regional and local development plans, statutorily approved and regularly updated, in accordance with the provisions of the Physical Planning and Development Act.
  • Formulation of urban development plans and urban design projects in towns and villages.
  • Effective enforcement of existing legislation to prevent the establishment of new squatter settlements on public and private lands, and continued implementation of programmes aimed at regularising existing squatter settlements.
  • Development and adoption of a policy on housing and resettlements, on the basis of a detailed and up-to-date assessment of needs and demand, and expansion of social and low-income housing programmes.
  • Development of regulations under the Physical Planning and Development Act, to include or strengthen specific provisions such as the establishment and maintenance of green spaces in subdivisions and other types of developments; Provide adequate public recreational space (parks, trails) to promote healthy lifestyles and wellness; The increase of housing densities where desirable; The allocation of lands for multi-storied buildings and amalgamated lots; The inclusion of water storage capacity in new buildings; and the provision of adequate access.
  • Creation of nodes of development to optimise the delivery of services, to reduce traffic and congestion in the northwestern corridor, and to provide more affordable access to housing areas and commercial centres.
  • Redevelopment of mature housing areas which are presently showing signs of economic and physical obsolescence to allow for more intensive development, and transformation of public sector housing initiatives into more complete and integrated communities
  • Integration of land use and management issues, to include land valuation and options for land use, into the process of rationalisation of air and seaport facilities.
  • Adoption of a policy on cemeteries that integrates spatial issues and gives full consideration to land management considerations.
  • Full implementation of relevant national policies, plans and programmes. These include the Coastal Zone Management Policy, the National Water Policy and the Plan for Managing the Fisheries of Saint Lucia.
  • Provide all new educational facilities with associated recreational and playing facilities to encourage and promote holistic development of students.

[Priority policy instruments and actions: Development planning and human settlements, pg. 11]

Action against climate change

Mitigation, Adaptation and Resilience

No climate change actions with a focus on mitigation were found in the policy, but rather on adaptation and hazard/disaster management.

Environment and natural resource management, including hazard mitigation and disaster management

  • Review and revise the plan for a System of Protected Areas, and prepare an indicative list of areas, which require statutory protection and a work programme for the establishment of such protected areas.
  • Effective management of existing protected areas, with their full demarcation and with the implementation of management programmes in research, conservation, sustainable use, monitoring and evaluation, and public awareness.
  • Use of integrated approaches to the management of watersheds, assessment of critical watershed areas, and establishment of protected status for such areas. Establishment of special conservation areas for rivers, e.g. buffer zones and water catchments.
  • Integration of landscape management and heritage conservation considerations and tools in regional and local development plans.
  • Development and enforcement of guidelines and standards for beach use and coastal water quality.
  • Development of local coastal zone development and use plans, based on the national vision for coastal zone management and development.
  • Establishment and provision of fiscal and other incentives and disincentives to encourage and support conservation activities on private lands.
  • Systematic conduct and use of environmental impact assessments and statements in projects, including those designed and implemented by public sector agencies. In addition it is essential to create an effective system to monitor, evaluate and enforce the application of impact mitigation measures.
  • Continued education of developers, contractors and other key actors in land development, and provision of technical assistance to all planning and construction professionals, including engineers, architects and contractors, in aspects of project design.
  • Adoption of measures ensuring that landfills and other sites and facilities required for solid waste management, including toxic and hazardous waste, are adequately located and managed.
  • Adoption of guidelines for the location and management of wastewater treatment facilities.
  • Integrated and effective management of green spaces in urban areas.
  • Inclusion of landscaping considerations and tree planting requirements in planning regulations.
  • Provision of fiscal incentives towards increased use of water storage, including roof catches and cisterns, while encouraging resource conservation.
  • Conduct on-going public education and awareness programmes on land management, conservation and development issues. Emphasis should be placed on the provisions of existing legislation and on the roles of all stakeholders, including individual citizens and land developers.
  • Full implementation of relevant national policies, plans and programmes.


[Priority policy instruments and actions: Environment and natural resource management, including hazard mitigation and disaster management, pg. 13] 

Focus

Main goal

The National Land Policy is to guide the use, management, development and administration of land resources in Saint Lucia in order to optimise the contribution of land to sustainable development.

[Policy Framework, pg. 5]

Cross-cutting principles

The principles that guide Saint Lucia’s National Land Policy are as follows:

  • Equity
  • Rights
  • Stewardship
  • Leadership
  • Accountability
  • Collaboration and participation
  • Enforcement
  • Efficiency
  • Capacity building
  • Coordination and integration
  • Protection of common property
  • Precaution
  • Provision of incentives and disincentives
  • Diversity
  • Public awareness
  • Knowledge

[Policy Framework, pg. 5]

Strategic objectives

The strategic objectives of the National Land Policy are to:

  • Enhance the contribution of land to economic development, including poverty reduction, food security, and employment and revenue generation opportunities for all citizens.
  • Facilitate the provision of adequate public services to all, notably in health, education, public utilities, recreation and transportation.
  • Provide opportunities for all citizens to have access to adequate shelter.
  • Minimise the risk of loss of life, degradation of land resources and other assets from the impacts of hazards and disasters.
  • Establish and maintain patterns of land use and development that are responsible and sustainable, and that maintain options for future uses.
  • Encourage the development and functioning of efficient land markets.
  • Conserve the country’ s biological diversity.
  • Support the rehabilitation, restoration and management of degraded lands.
  • Maximize the effectiveness and efficiency of land management institutions, systems and procedures.
  • Provide a framework for the management, resolution or avoidance of conflicts related to land and its uses.
  • Develop and promote a positive cultural relationship between people and the land.

[Policy Framework, pg. 7]

Action Strategies

To achieve these strategic objectives, specific policies, measures and actions will be needed in four complementary areas:

  • Development planning and human settlements.
  • Land use and development in key economic sectors.
  • Environment and natural resource management, including hazard mitigation and disaster management.
  • Legal framework, institutional arrangements and organisational capacity.

[Policy Framework, pg. 7]

Gender

Although there is no specific gender policy to the Development Plan, it is stated that a general Gender Policy comes under the Minsitry of Home Affairs and is formulated, coordinated and evaluated by the Bureau Gender Affairs (BGA). The following outcomes will be further elaborated in the policy in results and action programs of the relevant ministries and institutions:

1) Equal access to education and training for boys, girls, men and women

2) Equal access to the labour market and the different professions, equal incomes, equal working conditions for women and men

3) Thorough protection against domestic and sexual violence and harassment

4) Equal tratment in health care for the sexes

5) Equal participation of the sexes in decision-making bodies and positions

6) Promotion of laws and regulations and policy which promotes and kick-starts gender equality and awareness about social progress and economic benefits envisaged with this

Monitoring and tracking

Technical Instruments

The implementation of this National Land Policy will be coordinated and monitored by the Ministry responsible for Physical Development, working in collaboration with all relevant agencies.
Specific areas to be monitored will include:

  • Land prices and land transactions
  • Planning applications and permissions o Land disputes and legal settlements
  • Land use and vegetation cover
  • Taxation rates and revenue

In support of the implementation of this Policy, a research programme will be undertaken. It will focus inter alia on:

  • Options for the management of family lands
  • Market-based instruments of land management o Land capability mapping

[Research, monitoring and evaluation, pg.19]

Representative sample of Cities

Castries and Vieux Fort