Forum Syd starts Land Rights programme in Liberia

News - 2019-03-14
On Tuesday 12th of March Forum Syd Liberia opened its Country Office and launched the ‘Sustainable ownership: empowering communities and civil society in Liberia’ in Gbarnga, Bong County.
Group photo of the 40 attendees, several phones are also trying to capture the group.

The event took place at Forum Syd office and it was attended by the Ambassador of Sweden to Liberia H. E. Ingrid Wetterqvist, an array of officials of the Government of Liberia including representations from the leaderships of Bomi, Bong, and Grand Gedeh counties where the program will initially focus.

We are happy that Forum Syd has opened their office here in Gbarnga. This is highly symbolic and this is what we call walking the talk and not just talking.

Said Ambassador of Sweden to Liberia H. E. Ingrid Wetterqvist in her speech to the audience. 

A cross section of civil society and international organizations was also present such as the Liberia Land Authority, United Nations Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights (OHCHR), and Action Aid Liberia.

We as civil society organizations have the burden on us to ensure that people are properly informed and demand their rights.

Stated Marilyn Jarwoe, Executive Director at Center for Justice and Peace Studies (CJPS) in her speech during the opening ceremony. 

H.E. ambassador Ingrid Wetterqvist cutting the ribbon.
H.E. ambassador Ingrid Wetterqvist cutting the ribbon.

In separate remarks, all of the invitees thanked the government and the people of Sweden for being a true friend and partner to the people of Liberia. 

In the past, I used to see civil society as people who were against me. Now are realized that they were helping me to do the right things

Said Anthony B. Sheriff, Acting Superintendent in Bong County in his welcoming speech.

Focus on civil society support and land rights

Forum Syd will in Liberia strive to safeguard the implementation of the Land Rights Act to the benefit of local communities.  Liberia is perceived to also hold one of the most progressive Land Rights Act in the world, one that recognizes customary land rights. The Act grants people and communities equal right to ancestral land as private ownership have over the same land.

We are excited to start our support to the Liberian civil society. Their work for local communities right to land and women's rights are crucial to build a sustainable future in Liberia.

Says Secretary-General Anna Stenvinkel about Forum Syds expansion to Liberia.

The land question is also highly gendered as the face of the world’s food producers is that of a woman. Although being responsible for household and micro level food security women rarely have secure access to the land they cultivate.

Through strengthening organisational capacity and sharing insights between communities and social movements, civil society can act as a watchdog keeping government accountable to its promises. Forum Syd aims to do this journey together with civil society in Liberia to ensure land access and strengthening services relating to land.

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