With the signing of the Land Rights Act (LRA) in 2018, Liberia established the legal framework for securing customary collective community land and resource rights for two million Liberians. Anticipating passage of the LRA, the Tenure Facility pilot project in Liberia, completed in 2017, prepared for nationwide land reform. The pilot project established the Community Self Identification (CSI) Guide that was then integrated into the Land Rights Act of 2018 as the first step of the process leading to legal recognition of customary community land (now in chapter 9 of the Law itself). This second phase of the project builds on these achievements by advancing tenure security over 583,934 hectares for 24 communities spread in eight Counties of Liberia, benefiting 100,000 people.
Proponents: Foundation for Community Initiatives (FCI)
Sustainable Development Institute (SDI)
Associates: Liberia Land Authority
Women, youth, immigrants and other socially excluded or marginalized groups
Local and national civil society organizations
This latest initiative builds on the achievements of the Tenure Facility pilot to scale-up rights recognition under the LRA across Liberia. It is led by the Foundation for Community Initiatives (FCI), a Liberian non-governmental organisation that advocates for the rights of women, youth and other groups that face social exclusion or marginalisation in the natural resource sector. Other partners include Parley Liberia, the Sustainable Development Institute (SDI), and the Liberia Land Authority (LLA). Parley Liberia provides intermediary and advisory services to communities, companies and government regulators who are collaborating to develop land and natural resources in Liberia. SDI works to transform decision-making about natural resources in Liberia, so that benefits are shared equally. The Liberia Land Authority controls access to public land and promulgates regulations necessary for effective land governance.
The partners aim to advance tenure security over 788,190 hectares for 24 communities, benefiting 100,000 people. They are developing a common methodology for participatory mapping, developing guidelines to help communities navigate the LRA process, and training a cadre of organisations and individuals to support communities across Liberia as they secure their rights. In addition to mapping, demarcating, documenting and registering their claims with the Liberia Land Authority, the 24 communities are developing by-laws and/or constitutions for governing and managing their lands. They are also learning to resolve conflicts and to include women, youth, and other groups in decision-making and on land governance bodies. The initiative is aligned to support other Liberian national and donor-funded programs, such as the USAID-funded Land Governance Support Activity and the World Bank-funded Liberia Land Administration Project.
This second phase of the project was extended from August 2021, to March 2022, with the aim that communities will consolidate their formal ownership and enhance the governance of their customary land and forests.The project extension will support twenty-four CLDMCs to facilitate their communities to integrate forestry into their by-laws, and incorporate forest governance bodies into their CLDMCs, as well as support them to legalize their status and gain legal personality. By completing self-identification, by-law creation and formation of governance bodies, these communities have made major advances in securing their land rights, legalization will provide double security and further strengthen their land tenure security. Additionally, by integrating forestry into their by-laws and incorporating forest management bodies into their CLDMCs these communities will strengthen their control of forest and lay the foundation for improving governance of the forest resources within their territories.
To read a brief overview of Liberia, click here.
For a timeline of land and forest rights in Liberia, click here.