A three-day advocacy strategy development and gender sensitive communication workshop for civil society organizations on the Land Reform Act was held in Monrovia by Welthungerhilfe (WHH) in collaboration with Rights and Rice Foundation through the CSO Working Group.
The training was part of the “Land Rights for Liberia” project funded by the European Union. Two additional implementing partners included the Sustainable Development Institute (SDI) and the Catholic Agency for Overseas Development (CAFOD).
On behalf of the team the national partner advisor for Welthungerhilfe, Sahr Nouwah, said the purpose of the training was to support members of the Civil Society Organization Working Group on the Land Rights Act in creating awareness and developing a joint advocacy plan and strategy and a gender sensitive communication strategy.
These strategies will guide the work of the CSO Working Group to constructively engage stakeholders for the passage of the Land Rights Bill into law and monitor the full implementation of the law when passed. Sahr Nouwah stressed the need for the law to protect the rights of communities, women and every individual in Liberia, especially rural communities depending on the land for their livelihood.
He said the workshop discussed plans and actions constructively needed to engage all stakeholders around the Land Rights Bill which is currently at the National Legislature awaiting passage.
The three-day event brought together 15 CSOs represented by their executive directors to jointly develop and roll out the strategy through the CSO Working Group on the Land Rights Act in the coming months.
Nouwah said that the Land Rights Bill is widely seen as a progressive document. He emphasized that views among stakeholders suggest that the passage of the Land Rights Bill will allow farmers to benefit by enabling them to focus on sustainable food and nutrition security in Liberia by increasing their produce to feed the growing population of Liberia.
Another speaker at the occasion was the program manager of Catholic Agency for Overseas Development (CAFOD), Amina Bello, who explained that the priority will be supporting communities in self-identification of land claim declaration, land space identification, community mapping, land use and management plan, knowledge sharing and networking, as well as legal support to communities.
The CAFOD program manager stated that the main objective of the current project is to achieve the passage of the Land Rights Act currently before the 53rd National Legislature.
It can be recalled that last January the European Union signed an agreement with Welthungerhilfe and two other partners, SDI and CAFOD, which was launched on March 14, 2017. The WHH project will end in a year’s time, while CAFOD and SDI’s are expected to run up to December 2019.