21 January 2013

Liberia: Land Rights Policy for Liberia in Sight

The Land Commission in collaboration with the Ministry of Internal Affairs will tomorrow host the second in a series of public consultations on the draft Land Rights Policy.

The Montserrado County Consultative meeting, which takes place at the Monrovia City Hall from January 22 - 24, will bring together the Superintendent and Development Superintendent of Montserrado County, City Mayors, Township Commissioners, Resident Land Commissioner, County Surveyor, Tribal Governors, Community Leaders, civil society organizations and other stakeholders in the land sector.

A release quoted the Chairman of the Land Commission, Dr. Cecil Brandy as saying that these consultations are aimed at gathering opinions from Liberians on key issues and recommendations that are in the draft Land Rights Policy Statement.

He said the formulation of a land rights policy for Liberia and land law reform is a major purpose of the Land Commission, which requires intensive consultations at home and abroad.

The Land Commission is holding these consultative meetings to be followed by a National Validation Conference to obtain suggestions from the Liberian people on the contents of the draft Land Rights Policy Statement and get approval and support from the public before the policy document is finalized, Brandy said.

In the draft Land Rights Policy, the Land Commission is recommending four basic categories of land rights, which include Public Land, Government Land, Customary Land and Private Land.

Also in the draft policy, the Land Commission recommends nine overriding principles which are: (1) Secure Land Rights, (2) Economic Growth, (3) Equitable Benefits, (4) Equal Access, (5) Equal Protection, (6) Environmental Protection, (7) Clarity, (8) Participation, and (9) Evidence-Based.

The 15 Counties of Liberia has been grouped into six regions based on their geographic locations.

The first regional consultation took place in Tubmanburg, Bomi County from December 5 to 7, 2012 and brought together delegates from Bomi, Grand Cape Mount and Gbarpolu Counties.

Following the Montserrado County Consultation, the next consultative meeting will take place in Buchanan, Grand Bassa County from January 30 to February 1, 2013.

Delegates who have been invited to the Buchanan Meeting will come from Rivercess, Margibi, Rural Montserrado and Grand Bassa Counties.

They include the Superintendent and Development Superintendent, City Mayor, County Inspector, Resident Land Commissioner, County Surveyor, Head of the Traditional Council, Women and Youth Groups as well as land-related institutions.

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