In recent weeks Sustainable Development Institute (SDI) has been the subject of a campaign of misinformation in the press and through public statements made by Mr. Walter Wisner, Vice Chairman of the Land Commission of Liberia. On August 5, SDI issued a statement directly responding to this campaign of misinformation and to clarify some key points related to its advocacy and purpose as an organisation.
Speaking before a gathering of community members in Grand Cape Mount County, Mr. Wisner had made a number of serious accusations, calling a recent fact sheet published by SDI and Friends of the Earth “lies,” and attempting to tarnish SDI's credibility and reputation. SDI strongly refuted his comments in the statement, and expressed its concern at the implications of a senior civil servant attempting to cause harm to the reputation of a Liberian civil society organization without providing any evidence of wrongdoing. SDI has since received a letter from the Land Commission expressing “regret” at Mr. Wisner’s comments and an assurance that they do not represent the position of the Commission itself.
SDI has reiterated its commitment to maintaining a good professional relationship with the Land Commission on the important work of reforming Liberia’s land law. SDI is presently engaged with the Land Commission with the intention of bringing this matter to a satisfactory close.
SDI staff appeared on Fabric Radio to discuss the statement.