Join Liberian CSOs in calling for a progressive Land Rights Act now!
Join the Global Call to Action in endorsing a statement from the Civil Society Organizations Working on Land Rights in Liberia calling on the country’s legislature to immediately pass historic legislation recognizing community land rights. Insecure land rights have contributed to wars and land grabs across West Africa, and to communities losing their homes, lands, and livelihoods. The Land Rights Act, submitted in 2014, would automatically recognize the land and forest rights of millions of rural Liberians, and could be a model for countries across West African grappling with their own land-related conflicts.
But corruption in the legislature and a lack of transparency threaten this vital piece of legislation. The Act will die on the table if it is not passed before the Legislature recesses on August 10, and the CSO working group is deeply concerned that it may have been stripped of its key provisions behind closed doors. It is vital that the Legislature passes a Land Rights Act that includes the following:
- Customary ownership is automatically formalized and granted the same legal protections as individual private ownership. With or without a deed, customary rights must be protected.
- Communities are empowered to self-define and self-identify their lands and boundaries in keeping with customs, history, and local norms.
- Communities are directly responsible for the management of their land and natural resources, and investments can only proceed on their lands with their Free, Prior, and Informed Consent.
- Customary land rights take precedence over all other proposed uses of land, including proposals for protected areas, tribal certificates, and concessions for mining, logging, or industrial or agricultural development.
Call on the Liberian legislature to be a leader on land rights. Sign on to the CSO statement and share the below infographics on social media!