Liberia

Years of research, consultations and deliberations have lead to Forum Syd extending support to civil society in Liberia. The programme focuses on supporting the growth of a donor independent civil society and pays extra attention to land rights.
West African Sunset Liberia

Support has since 2001 been channeled from Forum Syd through sub-granting to Swedish organisations but as of 2019 direct partnerships are being formed with around 12 Liberian civil society organisations.

The question of access to land is a complex and conflict sensitive issue. Overall, about 90 percent of civil court cases in Liberia relate to land, and nearly two thirds of violent conflicts have their roots in land rights issues.

At the same time, Liberia is perceived to also hold one of the most progressive Land Rights Act in the world, one that recognises customary land rights. The Act grants people and communities equal right to ancestral land as private ownership have over the same land. Customary land constitutes roughly 70 per cent of Liberian land.

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.

Forum Syd strive to safeguard the implementation of the Land Rights Act to the benefit of local communities. Through strengthening organisational capacity and sharing insights between communities and social movements of the world with similar experiences and challenges regarding land, civil society can act as a watchdog keeping government accountable to its promises. Forum Syd aims to journey with civil society in Liberia to ensure land access and strengthening services relating to land.