LLA Appeals for Gov’t, Donors, Civil Society Support
-To Implement the Land Rights Law
The Executive Director of the Liberia Land Authority (LLA) Mr. Stanley Toe has appealed to the government of Liberia and the donor community to render support to the authority to facilitate the implementation of Liberia’s land rights law.Delivering a statement on the Liberian Senate’s enactment of the Land Rights law, at the regular Thursday Ministry of Information, Cultural Affairs and Tourism (MICAT) press briefing last week, Mr. Toe noted that the implementation of the law becomes effective after it would be signed by the President.
“The LLA is mindful that support coming from government will be slow to come due to competing national priorities and current challenges of revenue shortfalls, hence we will engage the donor community for support for its implementation”, he explained.
He used the occasion to express thanks and appreciation to all who contributed immensely to the passage of the land rights law, including the ex-President Ellen Johnson-Sirleaf and current President George Manneh Weah for their support, as well as all the stakeholders including international donor partners, national and international civil society organizations.
He urged Liberians to ensure to deviate from the past when good laws and policies were developed but never implemented, adding that Liberians are eagerly awaiting the implementation of the law when it becomes effective after being signed by the President and published into handbills.
According to the LLA Executive Director, Article 71 of the Act grants the LLA the authority to promulgate regulations necessary for the effective implementation of the Act, and while awaiting the coming into effect of the law, the LLA will be holding consultations with stakeholders including the government, civil society and donor community on the issues of implementation.
Mr. Toe noted that among the best practices embedded in the land rights policy are clear guidelines for public and government land management, recognition and support for women’s rights, provisions on community governance inclusive of women and youths.
He added that there are detailed protections for the exercise of eminent domain, while for public and government land, the policy sets forth critical policy recommendations regarding how government transfers land and how government acquires land especially through the exercise of eminent domain.
“With respect to the new category of customary land law and private land, there are significant recommendations, as they are protected to go through several processes before their customary land rights are legally recognized, that included community self-identification, with respect to land area and membership, establishment of land governance structures and demarcations, titling and registration of their community lands,” he said.
Tracing the history of the exercise, Mr. Toe observed that following 4 years of legislative review, the Liberia Land Authority welcomes the enactment of the Land Rights Act by the Lower House on August 23, 2018 and its concurrence by the Liberian Senate of September 4, 2018.
He said:”Indeed the passage of the law is a momentous event in our nation’s history as we Liberians continue our efforts to create a better nation, one in which all of our citizens irrespective of ethnic, and gender differences and identity, and regardless of socio-economic or demographic status can be fully guaranteed their rights to own land and the benefits associated with”.
The LLA Executive director briefly mentioned the advantages and benefits of the land rights Act, which include the Act providing opportunities for empowering rural communities, by allowing them to manage their land, and land-based resources so as to advance their economic growth and development, it prevents conflict, forges social cohesion, reduces poverty reduction and enhances good land governance.