P3CL Liberia Project Overview
Liberia has made significant progress towards land tenure reform since the creation of the defunct Land Commission in 2009. The country adopted a progressive Land Rights Policy in 2013 recommending full legal protection for customary collective community land rights. In 2016, the Liberia Land Authority was established by an act of the Legislature consolidating all land governance and management mandate in one entity, and in 2018 enacted the landmark Land Rights Law of 2018 granting formal recognition and legal protection for customary collective community land rights.
The Land Rights Law, also referred to as the Land Rights Act, recognizes four categories of land ownership including Customary Land, Public Land, Government Land, and Private Land. All the four categories of land ownership enjoy equal legal protection. However, for communities to enjoy all the rights as landowners or the full ‘bundle of rights’, they must complete series of processes including Community Self Identification, Community Governance formation and, Participatory Mapping and Boundary Harmonization. The Liberia Land Authority monitors and validates the process, conducts a Confirmatory Survey, and issues a deed to the beneficiary community.
The P3CL Project
The Protection of Customary Collective Community Land Rights in Liberia (P3CL) project is supporting 24 communities in 8 counties to complete the Customary Land formalization processes. The Foundation for Community Initiatives (FCI), Sustainable Development Institute (SDI), and Parley Liberia are partnering in this project. The Liberia Land Authority is providing technical support to the project while carrying out its regulatory functions.
The Objectives of the project
- Twenty four (24) communities have implemented the LLA approved process for customary collective community land rights recognition;
- A common methodology and set of tools for high-level participatory land and resource mapping developed and tested with communities;
- Staff of 3 implementing partners and 4 other CSOs, 24 community animators, and 12 individual practitioners have the capacity to support communities through the process for customary collective community land rights recognition; and
- A body of lessons learnt from project implementation is available to wider civil society, stakeholders at the local and national levels, and to donors.
The International Land and Forest Tenure Facility or
the Tenure Facility is funding the project.
The 24 project communities combined cover an estimated 583,934 hectares. The estimated population, based on Liberia’s 2008 national census is 108,130.
The sizes of the project communities vary significantly with Hembeh and Lukasu in Lofa County being the largest and second largest communities with 74,274 hectares and 68,534 hectares respectively. Teekpeh and Zialue communities in Rivercess come third and fourth with 52,066 hectares and 41,695 hectares respectively. The smallest communities are Cavalla in Maryland County covering 3,252 hectares and Seehun in Sinoe County covering 4,195.