Protection of customary collective community land rights in Liberia

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 by developing and testing a practical guide to support local communities in the process of self-identification, the first step in claiming their land rights.


From: 01/12/2015

To: 01/10/2017

Budget: $750,000

Proponents: Sustainable Development Institute

Partners: Foundation for Community Initiatives (FCI)
Liberian Land Authority
Development Education Network (DEN-L)
Parley Liberia

Stakeholders: Communities in pilot sites, including women, youth and other marginalized groups
Local and national civil society organizations
Government ministries
Development partners
Private sector
Liberian society

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 organization that advocates for the rights of women, youth and other groups that face social exclusion or marginalization 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 organizations 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.

To read a brief overview of Liberia, click here.

For a timeline of land and forest rights in Liberia, click here.

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