Empowerment for Community-based Actions (ACE Initiative): goal is to empower local communities to actively engage government and other stakeholders on natural resources governance, management, use, and benefit sharing issues. It works in synergy with the community forestry cluster but looks beyond forests to address broader community rights issues including land rights, economic and social justice for marginalized populations in rural Liberia. It supports networking and coalition building amongst and between civil society groups and communities to further the effectiveness of community-based actions on natural resource issues. Projects in the program area are:
- Networking for Development
- Community Land Titling Initiative
Networking for Development supports selected citizen groups in Rivercess and Grand Bassa Counties work to address development and environmental issues in their communities. Four citizen groups, Abe Nyun Jaa, Timbo United for Development, Morweh Organized for Development and Advocacy, Nyuehwein Environmental and Empowerment Group, Citizen Development Association of Rivercess receive facilitation and fundraising support to promote self-help initiatives in the areas of agriculture, conservation, community organizing and other development interventions. Three groups in Grand Bassa County BAWODA, Bassa Youth Caucus and Bassa Advocacy Group work on various development and rights issues in the Grand Bassa County. These groups are using community radios to promote civic participation on a wide range of issues in their counties.
Community Land Titling Initiative: SDI and the International Development Law Organization (IDLO) are partnering to carry out a two-year research initiative that will investigate current land holding, ownership, administration (customary and statutory) and management systems in rural Liberia. At the conclusion of the study, the data gathered will be presented to the Land Commission and other stakeholders both to increase understanding of the current system and contribute to land policy formulation. The information generated will shape civil society advocacy on policy options and assist the Land Commission in its work and help to create a solid base upon which Liberia’s land policies can be grounded.