Watch our film on one Liberian communities' epic struggle against UK palm oil company Equatorial Palm Oil.
Across Africa, corporations are grabbing community land and water - and nowhere more than in Liberia, where half the country has already been allocated to foreign investors. But one community has shown it's possible to overcome intimidation, organise and resist.
May 6th, 2014
Silas Kpanan'Ayoung Siakor, founder of SDI, reflects on Liberia's successes and challenges in natural resources governance with fellow Liberian, SOAS Ph.D. student Robtel Neajai Pailey for this Governance in Africa Conversations podcast produced by the School of Oriental and African Studies(SOAS)/Mo Ibrahim Foundation. He speaks at length about the issues of natural resource governance, land rights, inclusivity in governance and social justice. The history of SDI and the its purpose going forward are also highlighted.
Since the 2012 moratorium on and subsequent cancellation of Private Use Permits (PUPs) in the last quarter of 2013, there has been an alarming rise in the number of applications for Community Forestry Management Agreements (CFMAs) across the country. There are concerns that logging operators previously operating illegal PUPs are now pursuing CFMAs as an alternative to allow them to continue to harvest timber in Liberia.
Listen to Development Talk. The proposed Land Rights Policy in Liberia represents a shift towards respecting customary rights of communities. However it is still fraught with many challenges. Even with progressive policy reform implementation, corruption and patronage at all levels of government remains a key obstacle to land rights and communities negatively impacted by concession agreements. What do we do about all of this? Listen here
Listen to SDI Radio. This edition of Development Talk features a 30 minute interview with the founder of the Sustainable Development Institute discussing accountability, natural resources in Liberia and the ten years of Reforms in the Liberian Natural Resource Sector. The second part of the program features three managers at SDI reflecting on the tenth Anniversary, linking the discussion of SDI's ongoing work to the hostile comments made by the President of Liberia labelling NGOs as "Super-National Bodies" that are challenging state sovereignty.