On Monday, 23 May 2022, stakeholders from the three counties in western Liberia – Grand Cape Mount, Gbarpolu and Bomi – convened in the city of Tubmanburg – Bomi County, to officially launch the Multi-Actor Platform on Land Governance and Responsible Agricultural Investment, the MAP Liberia Land Platform.
The Western Region MAP is now the first of three regional structures (Western, South-Eastern and North-Central) envisioned to be established under the decentralization approach of the MAP.
The launching forum brought together 30 participants comprising representatives of agencies of government, academia and research institutions, civil society organizations, the private sector and local communities.
Following deliberations, delegates at the regional forum took some key decisions into consideration about how the regional MAP would function.
Those decisions include: defining clear thematic areas and developing terms of references, reviewing and adopting the organizational structure of the regional MAP, defining tenures of leadership (for regional conveners and county facilitators) as well as outlining and agreeing upon clearly defined channels of communication and mode of coordination – at the regional level and with the national secretariat.
The forum ended with an official declaration to launch the western region MAP. Ms. Jenneh Kemokai, Chairperson of Civil Society in Grand Cape Mount County read the 10 counts declaration for the delegates.
She commenced the reading of declaration saying the delegates to the Regional MAP Forum, comprising of representatives of local government, the private sector, academia and research institutions, and communities from the three western region counties of Grand Cape Mount, Gbarpolu and Bomi, converged in the City of Tubmanburg, Bomi County on May 23, 2022.
The declaration said the delegates have explored the concept and approach of multi-stakeholder partnership as a good way of addressing complex situations such as land governance and responsible agricultural investment in Liberia.
It noted that they have gone through a number of fundamental training and meetings to understand how multi-stakeholders processes and partnerships work.
It stated that the delegates have particularly gained some understanding of MAP processes and contents relative to land governance and responsible agricultural investment (RAI) in Liberia; and that they have developed a regional organogram by themselves as a framework to host the MAP Platform in the western region of Liberia.
According to the declaration, the delegates have understood the different layers and structures of the MAP Liberia Land Platform; and established clear connections between the western region MAP and the national secretariat in terms of communication, coordination and reporting.
It detailed that the delegates have understood that transparent communication and open dialogue among MAP stakeholders and actors are key to building trust and maintaining relationships; and that they have welcomed and appreciated efforts by the MAP Secretariat to have the Platform decentralized beginning with the western region.
They have expressed gratitude to all the MAP sponsors and supporters as well as international development partners including donors, bilateral and multilateral institutions, and international NGOs supporting the land sector.