Liberia’s 14-year civil war—fueled in part by conflicts over land and natural resource rights—has had a devastating impact on the lives and livelihoods of its people. Today, more than a decade into the post-conflict reconstruction period, Liberians are working to rebuild their economy and institute reforms that would promote equitable access to land and resources, secure tenure, investment, and development. Progress, however, has been stymied by a host of challenges— from a lack of infrastructure to the Ebola epidemic in 2014.
Morris Kidir gestures at a wide expanse of dark-green land he says was earmarked for a school or clinic in his northern Liberian village, now covered in young oil palm trees.
In October last year, he recalls, workers from Malaysian conglomerate Sime Darby arrived at the plot and began filling in the only gap left in a forest of palms that stretch as far as the eye can see.
Monrovia – The Civil Society Organization (CSO) working group on Land Rights in Liberia, in collaboration with the National Civil Society Council of Liberia has alarmed that the current Land Rights Act passed by the House of Representatives and currently before the Senate is not in the interest of ordinary Liberians.
The eradication of hunger and poverty and the sustainable use of the environment depend in large measure on how people, communities and others gain access to land, fisheries and forests.