As part of improving citizens’ engagement in concessions management and managing concession-related conflicts, the United Nations Development Program (UNDP) is organizing a two-day national multi-stakeholders platform meeting in Monrovia, according to a press release yesterday.
The meeting brings together four Multi-Stakeholders’ Platforms (MSPs) from affected communities in concession areas in Grand Cape Mount, Maryland, Nimba and Sinoe counties.
The meeting, which is in partnership with the National Bureau of Concession (NBC) and the United Nations Mission in Liberia, is designed to strengthen concession monitoring and prevention capabilities of participants by providing space for practical learning on how to formalize, operationalize and monitor the activities of MSPs.
It is part of activities on ‘Strengthening National Reconciliation through Improved Understanding of Conflict Drivers in Concession Areas and the Establishment of Multi-Stakeholder Platforms under the Assessed Contribution Project.’
The events which take place on June 22 and 23 at the Monrovia City Hall will discuss the timeline and operational modalities for the multi-stakeholder platforms over the next year.
Additionally, participants will review and refine the framework for concession conflict management as well as reflect on concession grievances, the lessons learned and opportunities for improvement.
It is expected that the leaderships of project affected communities will be formally inducted into office during the meeting.
Participation at the meeting will include representatives of Project Affected Communities at the Sime Darby Liberia-SDL in Grand Cape Mount County; Acelor Mittal-(AML) in Nimba County; Golden Veroleum-GVL in Sinoe County; and the Maryland Oil Palm Plantation-MOPP in Maryland County.
Others include representatives of county authorities from the four counties, the Legislature, relevant ministries, agencies and commissions, the United Nations, as well as civil society and other local peace building organizations.
It is hoped that at the end of the exercise, a framework would be developed to conduct multi-stakeholder dialogue for concession management; develop more clearly articulated land concession conflict management strategies and practices; enhance capacities for diagnosis and response to effectively contribute to the prevention of land concession conflicts; and better identify vulnerabilities, the press release stated.
The Accessed Funding Project is a peace building and community cohesion project that builds upon the work undertaken by Sime Darby’s Sustainable Partnership Initiative (SPI), which brings project-affected communities (PACs), relevant government entities, civil society, development partners and concessionaires to a common platform to work through specific concerns arising from concession operations, as well as framing collective agendas.