MAP Liberia Land Platform Concludes Annual Assembly

MAP Liberia Land Platform Concludes Annual Assembly
MAP Liberia Land Platform Concludes Annual Assembly

Africa-Press – Liberia. The Multi-Actors Platform on Land Governance and Responsible Agricultural Investment in Liberia (MAP Liberia Land Platform) has concluded a two-day assembly of members that highlighted major milestones achieved, and key challenges over the last few years.

The Assembly, which took place from May 28-29 in Paynesville, brought together over forty member organizations from diverse sectors including representatives from the government of Liberia, Civil Society Organizations (CSOs) academia, private sector and the communities.

The meeting involved the members undertaking an annual assessment of the performance of the platform at various levels and adopted the revised steering committee’s terms of reference and membership policy.

Also, the steering committee leadership, mandated for oversight responsibility for the MAP’s objectives and governance, was elected and installed.

The two-day gathering further reviewed key strategic documents, input and adoption for the platform performance going forward.

At the end of the forum, the actors documented the major milestones achieved, challenges and lessons learned, reviewed and adopted the new five-year country strategy for communications, launched the resource mobilization strategy and gender audit report, as well as reviewed and adopted the membership policy that defines a roadmap for the future.

Speaking at the opening of the workshop, the Executive Director of the Liberia Land Authority (LLA), Stanley Toe, called on stakeholders to remain vigilant toward their approaches on land governance.

He said that limited funding for land governance remains a serious impediment to addressing land issues within the country.

According to him, over the past years the Land Authority had faced challenges due to donor fatigue.

The LLA official mentioned that the government is yet to provide sufficient funding to the institution but they are still looking forward to donors to support the works on land governance.

“We are now experiencing donor fatigue as activities in the five years strategic plan can’t be implemented to some extent due to the lack of funding,” he stated.

He said that issues such as addressing customary land harmonization remain a serious concern for the land authority.

The LLA executive director called on actors on land to continue to work collaboratively with his organization to address land governance within the country.

The Facilitator of the MAP Liberia Land Platform, James Yarsiah, said that the assembly was important as it is happening during the time that the country is experiencing a transition.

He said that the platform will need to identify new representatives of government ministries and agencies who are actors.

Yarsieh said the platform is working with the government and partners to ensure land governance.

Also, speaking the head of partnership at the Welthungerhilfe (WHH), Lyndon Gibson said to move forward with the platform, there is a need for a strategic partnership with the government to source funding.

According to him, the platform will not become sustainable if it only depends on donors for funding.

“You must be able to meet with lawmakers for budget support to sustain the platform,” he said.

About the MAP Liberia Land Platform

The Multi-Actor Platform on Land Governance in Liberia (MAP Liberia Land Platform) was initiated in Liberia in 2018, to provide a forum for actors from Government, CSOs, private sector, academia and community based organizations to dialogue on policies and practices to improve land governance and responsible agricultural investment. The platform is under the sponsorship of the Land for Life Project funded by the German Government for Economic Corporation (BMZ) and implemented by Welthungerhilfe and the national partner Rights and Rice Foundation.

Since its establishment, the MAP Platform in Liberia has had some tremendous successes, challenges and lessons to take stock of. Since 2018 up to now, the platform has evolved with major achievements that are not limited to the followings: a functional secretariat that includes the Liberia Land Authority, the establishment of four thematic focus areas of the platform, around which there are four active thematic groups, an established and functional steering Committee, contribution to the passage of Liberia’s progressive Land Rights Act, strengthened the CSOs Working Group on Land Reform to develop their Advocacy Strategy, supported the development of key regulations to support implementation of the LRA, conduct of a gender audit to assess the platform and organized Liberia’s first major National Land Conference; among others. The platform is currently developing a new five-year strategy that will define a new road map.

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