23 January 2013

Liberia: Land Right Policy Will Benefit Liberians - Land Commission Boss

The Chairman of the Land Commission (LC) has said the draft Land Right Policy when formulated will provide unique opportunity for every Liberian. According to Dr. Cecil O. Brandy, though the policy is challenging, but it provides opportunity for every Liberian to have equal access to land tenure.

Dr. Brandy made these comments Tuesday, January 22, 2013 at the start of a three-day public consultation on the draft Land Rights Policy. The consultative meetings, which are being held at the Monrovia City Hall, Dr. Brandy said are aimed at gathering opinions from Liberians on key issues and recommendations that are in the draft Land Rights Policy Statement.

He noted that 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. Speaking further, the LC boss called on every Liberian to get involved into these discussions, because according to him, they provide the platform for the future of the country.

"This policy will give Liberians the opportunity to land ownership. We must by all means get involved into this process," Dr. Brandy told Liberians. He noted that the draft document the LC is a direct result of consultations across the country for the past two years.

He pointed out that the works of the LC are clear manifestation of the Government of Liberia (GoL) desire enabling every Liberian have access to land tenure. Like Dr. Brandy, Acting Managing Director of the Forestry Development Authority, Mr. Harrison Karnwea, also called on Liberians to be part of the discussions.

He said the effort by the LC in crafting a land right policy will lay to rest some of the problems that have engulfed the country over the years.

Meanwhile, 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 is further recommending 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 have been grouped into six regions based on their geographic locations.

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