‘The People’s Plan’: Govt reveals national development strategy for next 15 years

Vanuatu 2030 - The People's Plan

A Plan for Vanuatu until 2030 and another for Port Vila for the next 20 years are of particular interest in Daily Post today.

The national sustainable development plan, was developed through a national consultative process and is being promoted as the People’s Plan for the country. It takes as its model a development plan based on considerations of profit, people and the planet and is not just another Priorities and Action Agenda like the last one, which expired last year.

Approximately 1,500 people were consulted in preparation of the People’s Plan, in groups of about 50 people. Their deliberations concerned the three pillars of the economy, the environment and society, but the cultures of Vanuatu were seen as the bottom line in the consultations around Vanuatu.

The Department of Strategic Policy, Planning and Aid Coordination (DSSPAC) and its Director, Gregoire Nimbtik, will be presenting the Plan for validation tomorrow Wednesday morning at the National Convention Centre at 8.30 am. Deputy PM Joe Natuman will introduce the Plan on behalf of PM Salwai.

Certainly this plan seems to offer the people of the country the chance to have an adequate participation in the awareness process we have come to expect from government.

The plan for Port Vila is another matter entirely. We were advised this morning as we read the news story in the paper that a meeting to tell us more was already underway in the Town Hall (with minimal public meeting facilities) this morning. Consultation was said to be an integral component of the development of a zoning control document for Port Vila, by the Acting Town Clerk. The news story was not claimed as the work of any particular journalist or municipal official, but the strategic plan for the next 20 years is its base.

This Strategic Plan for and Zoning and Development Control of Port Vila is being created by a municipality which does not have a qualified town planner working for it. Thus we have investors taking advantage of the absence of height restrictions for their buildings and other would-be developers getting money-making projects underway where no real EIA has been issued. Both Port Vila and Luganville (now considered ripe for development) need to acquire professional town planners. Any plan created without professional advice will be a nonsense.