GeneralLiberia newsNgos

Call to decentralize land services

MAP Liberia Land Platform has concluded a major National Land Conference in Buchanan, Grand Bassa County, during which participants called on stakeholders through a GBEHZOHN Declaration to prioritize coordination and decentralization of land services, improve facilitation of the formalization processes and continue providing funding support to the land sector.

The conference was held from 1 – 3 March 2022, aimed at assessing progress made on the implementation of the 2018 Land Rights Act of Liberia.

During the conference, stakeholders in the land and agriculture sectors from across Liberia convened in the City of Buchanan, Grand Bassa County to review progress made thus far in the implementation of Liberia’s Land Rights Act. 

The National Land Conference which brought together 344 participants (121 females and 223 males) including international guests from other sister African countries, Europe and the United States, was held under the theme: Celebrating three years of Liberia’s Land Rights Act.

Liberia embraced the signing into law of a new Land Rights Act in October, 2018. Following enactment of the new law, the Liberia Land Authority (LLA), working together with Civil Society Organizations (CSOs), other government authorities, policymakers and international partners, has initiated some good steps towards implementation of the law. 

Among the early achievements are the development of an Implementation Strategy and standardized messages for disseminating the Act, drafting regulations and guidelines, undertaking of pilots of community land formalization schemes and capacity building training programs for some actors in the land sector – mainly from the government and CSOs, as well as developing systems and processes for land administration and management. 

While there are some progress made thus far through collective efforts, it is also important to note that implementation of the LRA has been plagued by a range of challenges. These challenges are linked to the practical, legal, institutional and procedural aspects of the actual implementation of the LRA on one hand, and also based on deeply rooted traditional and customary practices on the other hand. Within the context of widespread food and land tenure insecurity in the existence of our history, the enactment of the LRA and the initial progress are only the first steps of a long and complex process at hand.

Based upon that, the MAP Liberia Land Platform, a land sector coordinating platform in Liberia, co-convened by the government and CSOs, organized the major Land Conference to take stock of the successes achieved so far in the implementation of the law, analyze and highlight challenges, identify opportunities and generate recommendations and commitments for a way forward. 

Planning and execution of the conference were done by its National Organizing Committee (NOC) and Technical Organizing Committee (TOC). The NOC comprised the Liberia Land Authority (LLA), the Ministry of Agriculture (MOA), the College of Agriculture and Forestry of the University of Liberia and the MAP Liberia Platform secretariat. 

The NOC provided overall policy direction to the National Land Conference and worked jointly with the various structures of the conference.  While the TOC which comprised the 8 thematic

groups supported by a Logistic Committee, Media Committee and Organizing Secretariat which guided the content aspect of the conference.

On the first day of the conference, official kick-off formalities including welcome remarks and overview of the historic land conference, greetings and solidarity messages from key agencies and personalities, and delivering of the Keynote address by Vincent Willie of Grand Bassa County, Chairman of the House Committee on Land, Mines, Energy, Natural Resources and Environment. Before the keynote address, greetings and solidarity messages were delivered by the following personalities/institutions: Neil Scott, Resident Coordinator of the United Nations in Liberia; Ms. Mehnaz Ajmal Paracha, FAO Country Representative; Madame Vera Kellen, Program Manager, Delegation of the European Union to Liberia; and Excellency Michael A. McCarthy, Ambassador of the United States of America to Liberia.

Others were Urban Siosirom, Ambassador of the Kingdom of Sweden to Liberia; Ralph Timmermann, Ambassador of the Republic of Germany to Liberia; Mr. Kofi Ireland, United Nations Women in Liberia; Mr. Khwima Nthara, World Bank Country Manager to Liberia; Mr. Nathaniel B. Walker, Acting Resident Representative of ECOWAS Commission in Liberia (through a proxy: Madam Irene Wallace);  and Mr. Raymond Samndong, Monitoring, Evaluation, Learning and Reporting Officer, The Tenure Facility.

There were also some breakout sessions and High-Level Plenary Discussions on Customary Land Formalization followed by questions, answers and discussions.

On day two of the conference, a number of presentations were made including presentation of an assessment report: a case study on Rural Women Land Rights in Liberia – Women in cohabitation and presumptive marriages, presentation of a Policy Brief on Women and Youth Land Rights, Formal Presentation of Certificates for completion of Community Self Identification (CSI) to communities, Formal Launch of the USAID funded Project – the Land Management Activity, learning Lessons from regional and international experiences & frameworks to support land reform in Liberia.

And on the third and final day of the conference, an eight-count resolution – THE GBEHZOHN DECLARATION was presented by the conference delegates, officially read by Madam Muna Kieh of the Women NGO Secretariat of Liberia – WONGOSOL. She is also a member of the Women and Youth Thematic Working group under the MAP Liberia Land Platform.


The New Dawn is Liberia’s Truly Independent Newspaper Published by Searchlight Communications Inc. Established on November 16, 2009, with its first hard copy publication on January 22, 2010. The office is located on UN Drive in Monrovia Liberia. The New Dawn is bilingual (both English & French).
Back to top button