UN-HABITAT, the Liberia Land Commission and the Swedish International Development Agency (SIDA) last week launched a new three year, USD 2.3 million dollar joint project on land conflict resolution.
The signing of collaboration agreement that took place at the offices of the Liberia Land Commission in Monrovia seeks to highlight the commitment of the Government of Liberia, Sweden and UN-HABITAT to promote more effective land management and governance in Liberia.
Dr. Othello Brandy, Chairman of the Land Commission, thanked both UN-HABITAT and SIDA for their support. Dr. Brandy recognized UN-HABITAT’s early and effective support to the Land Commission. He emphasized that the core funding provided by SIDA and the technical advice of UN-HABITAT will help ensure national leadership in an area of critical importance to peace, economic growth and poverty reduction in Liberia.
Swedish Ambassador to Liberia, Per Carlson, emphasized his government’s commitment to supporting Liberia transition peacefully from over two decades of conflict to a new era of peace and good governance. He recognized the Land Commission to be the fundamental driving force for moving the necessary land reforms forward and stressed the linkages between land and sustainable development and lasting peace in Liberia.
Representing UN-HABITAT at the ceremony, Alioune Badiane, the Director for the Regional Office for Africa and the Arab States praised the Land Commission for its achievements since the Commission official launch one year ago. He emphasized the importance of carefully managing land and natural resources, improving tenure security in urban and rural areas and urged the partners and donors to keep providing coordinated support to land sector reforms.
Under the Agreement, SIDA agrees to provide core support to the Land Commission through UN-HABITAT. The project will provide flexible support to land sector reforms in Liberia for a period of three years. This core funding will help ensure that the Land Commission is adequately staffed and resourced to implement its mandate of legal and policy advice for land sector reforms.
Dr. Brandy outlined some of the numerous problems facing the country’s land sector, including: the lack of a national land policy, an ineffective institutional framework, weak capacity for land administration and management and the dichotomy between statutory and customary land laws. He emphasized that the resources and technical support were critical to enable the Land Commission to ensure that land conflicts do not undermine the peace consolidation process.
Both Ambassador Carlson and Director Badiane reaffirmed their respective organizations’ commitment to assist Liberia realize the objectives of the project and improve land governance for all Liberians.