April 16, 2022, Monrovia: Liberia Land Authority Ends Three Days High Level Consultation on the Draft Regulations of the Land Rights Act
The Liberia Land Authority (LLA) with support from the World Bank funded Liberia Land Administration Project (LLAP) and the Sida supported Inclusive Land Administration and Management Project (ILAMP) on April 14th 2022, ended a three-day high level consultation meeting to validate and finalize the regulations for the implementation of the Land Rights Act, particularly Customary Land Rights.
Article 71 of the Land Rights Act (LRA) of 2018, mandates the Liberia Land Authority (LLA) to promulgate regulations for the effective implementation of the LRA. In fulfillment of this mandate, the LLA completed a set of draft regulations in preparation for carrying out inclusive participatory consultations on the draft regulations for the implementation of the LRA. The regulations were drafted by consultants versed in land tenure and administration as well as Liberian Customary Law and Practices; Dr. Cllr. Jallah A. Barbu, one of the consultants, led the facilitation of the consultations.
Speaking at the end of the three days consultations, LLA Chairperson Hon. Atty. J. Adams Manobah extended thanks and appreciation to the World Bank and Lantmäteriet/Sida for the support. He said the composition of participants and inputs expressed at the validation has proven that Liberians are interested in seeing an inclusive land reform agenda. Chairman Manobah assures that the LLA stands ready to resolve issues surrounding land matter in order to avert any potential conflict.
“Today, I am happy to note that people are now channeling their grievances through the appropriate entity and as well ready to speak out against illegal land related issues. This is the way to go. And all this is happening because the LLA with support from our donor partners is informing our people across the country of their rights and responsibilities as enshrined within the laws.” He said. Chairman Manobah further encouraged the participants to take the message back to their respective communities and institutions so that other people can understand how to deal with land matter since conflict has the propensity of stalling the great and tireless efforts of national government developmental agenda, donors supports, including the support coming from Civil Society Working Group.
“Let me say that our offices are open at any time for people to complain and seek redress. Our intent, including the President of Liberia, is to resolve all land conflicts, hence we are working in that direction. I also want to state that though more work needs to be done to have Inter-Agency cooperation and inter-agency collaboration, the LLA stand committed to working with all relevant line ministries and agencies so as to avoid defeating the purpose of the law. He added
The LLA boss stated that the LLA will continue to engage other government institutions to ensure that a smooth working relation is established. He said the passage of the law repealed or amended several other provisions of the Country’s laws, taking away key land related functions and other services from different government ministries and agencies, thus, to make the law effective for all, it is important all government officials take into consideration the change in the law. Chairman Manobah at the end of his remarks called on all to ensure that the right thing is done to avoid disputes and conflicts in the country.
Also speaking at the end of the draft regulations consultation, Cllr. Jallah A. Barbu acknowledged the cutting-edge and invaluable comments and inputs of the participants, assuring that the Act and the regulations are quite responsive to current realities surrounding land ownership, use and administration and if adhered to and implemented as envisaged, the land crises in Liberia will drastically reduce.
He further noted that the drafting of the regulations was consultative consistent with the Land Rights Act (LRA). Cllr. Barbu said the regulations have further simplified the LRA for all to understand. He expressed hope that following the validation there will be a political and governance will of the State. He called on H. E. Dr. George Manneh Weah, President of the Republic of Liberia, for support to the LLA to compliment the efforts of the institution.
“This is why I am calling on all Liberians to form part of Liberia land reform process. He added.
The three-day consultation meeting brought together leaders of various customary communities with prevalence of tribal certificates, Civil Society Organizations, particularly those involved with land reform, Local and Traditional leaders, Traditional Council of Liberia, Association of Female Lawyers of Liberia, Liberia National Bar Association, Professional Associations, Concession companies in the mineral and natural resources sectors, relevant ministries, agencies and commissions (MACs) of the Government, Academic Institutions and members of the Press Union of Liberia.
The consultation meeting focused on six thematic areas, namely; Conduct of Confirmatory Surveys to Identify, Inventory, Map, Probate and Register the Community Land Claims of Communities; The Process for Communities to Set Aside as Public Land a Maximum of Ten Percent of Community Land in Each Community; Best Practices for Community Negotiations Over Concessions; Dispute Resolution and Judicial Review in Respect of Community Land; e. The Inventory of Government Land and Harmonization of its Boundaries; and Tribal Certificate and suggestions on how to strengthen the section in the draft regulations.
At the close of the three-day consultations, the views, inputs, and comments of participants were incorporated in the final draft regulations, where appropriate, for the legal consultants to finalize the regulations, followed by submission to the WB for information purposes, and the Ministry of Sate for Presidential Affairs for gazettement by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs.
The Liberia Land Authority (LLA) was established in 2016 by an ACT of the National Legislature. The Authority is the ONE-STOP-SHOP for all land matters.
Reported By: Emmanuel Chedeh Davis - Communication and Outreach Officer