Publications

SDI Report Individual Land Ownership Versus Collective Land Ownership

In June 2016, Rights and Rice Foundation (RRF) andSustainable Development Institute (SDI) commissioned theconduct of a research to assess collective title versusindividual title and their implications for livelihood in termsof the use and management of land and forest resources.The research was conducted based on the premise that thedraft Land Rights Act (LRA) will be legislated therebypaving the way for formalized and legally protectedcollective ownership of land.With this pending development there is a need for civil society, policymakers and the rural population to better understand the challengesand opportunities that will come with these changes by examining thecurrent practices with respect to the governance and management ofcollective land, such as large parcels of land under collective title. Thepurpose of the research therefore, was to contribute to knowledge aswell as to inform future policy and practices.

Logging Outside the Blouquia Community Forest Management Area 2

This briefing paper asserts that "Logging without a permit or outside a logging contract area or concession is illegal". The Forestry Development Authority has committed to "formulate a regulation ensuring forestry legal requirements are followed regarding felling of logs alongside access road leading into a concession area" from SDI’s publication Logging Outside the Blouquia Community Forest Management Area 2.

 

Keeping The Promise

This report will examine two of the most serious potential threats to good governance and professional management of Liberian forests: the looming wave of Community Forestry Management Agreements (CFMAs), and the potential for large-scale conversion of forests into agriculture plantations – particularly oil palm. By examining these emerging issues critically, the Sustainable Development Institute (SDI) hopes to warn the Liberian government and its partners of the potential for abuse and mismanagement in coming years. The report concludes with an examination of the sector’s role in the Liberian economy overall, with an eye on alternatives as well as the need to create an environment of oversight and accountability for civil servants at the Forestry Development Authority (FDA) and elsewhere

Open Letter from Goldman Prize Laureates

A host of Golden Environmental Prize winners send a letter to Liberia's Forest Development Authority (FDA) expressing their concerns at the FDA's plan to legalize conversion timber and its potential impact on Liberia's forests.

SDI Cover Letter Letter to FDA

SDI's letter to FDA highlighting their concerns about the Forest Development Authority's plan to legalize conversion timber.

Forest Under Threat

A brief prepared by SDI that looks into GVL's plantation expansion and the potential threat it poses to Liberia's last remaining forest.

What the People Say_flyer

This Policy Brief is a result of CSOs consultations with rural communities on the draft Land Rights Act. It provides the views of local communities on the draft Act, as well presents concrete recommendations to protect the pro community provisions of the Act.

WHAT THE PEOPLE SAY?

This Policy Brief is a result of CSOs consultations with ruralcommunities on the draft Land Rights Act. It provides the views oflocal communities on the draft Act, as well presents concreterecommendations to protect the pro community provisions of the Act

Poverty in the Midst of Plenty

This report reveals that Liberia earns too little from its iron ore exports. It reveals that the country gives overly generous tax breaks to iron ore investors grossly undercutting its revised Revenue Code. For example, while the Revenue Code requires multinationals to pay 30 percent income taxes on all corporate profits, ArcelorMittal, China Union, and Putu only pay 25 percent. The report also reveals that state-citizen relations and relations between local communities and foreign multi-nationals operating in the mining sector are strained.

Draft Land Rights Act

Draft Land Rights Act submitted to the Legislature in late 2014.

Community Relations in Putu Iron Ore Mining Concession

This report evaluates Putu Iron Ore Mining operations in southeastern Liberia. At the PIOM concession, full-scale mining has not yet commenced, and as such the local population is largely hopeful of future opportunities and the company enjoys a fairly strong reputation. However, there are signs for concern. In 2011 a riot at PIOM caused two deaths and necessitated an ERU response, and there have been local complaints that the company is not doing enough to offer stable employment opportunities to residents of the district. Still, there is significant room for a stable and mutually beneficial relationship for PIOM to have with its affected neighbors. 

Community Relations in China Union Concession

This report highlights China Union’s slowness in living up to provisions of its agreement with the Government of Liberia, pointing to widespread dissatisfaction in Fuamah District, Bong County with the company’s operations and its abusive treatment of Liberian workers. SDI called on the Government of Liberia to press China Union to ensure that it fully complies with the terms of its Mineral Development Agreement with Liberia and that allegations of violence against Liberian workers are addressed and that violators are punished.

Positive Peace Crusade

The Sustainable Development Institute (SDI), founded in 2002, was accredited by the Government of Liberia in 2004. Following a decade of work on community rights issues in the forestry, agriculture, land, and mining sectors, the SDI is using its 10th Anniversary to reflect on achievements and challenges to inform planning for the future. Achievements in this context refer to progressive changes in policies, laws and regulations governing the natural resources sector to which the organisation has made significant interventions. This report chronicles SDI's 10 year Positive Peace Crusade in Liberia. 

Liberia Land Rights Policy

This Policy is a vision statement of where Liberians want to go with their land sector; none of the below principles or recommendations will be applied retroactively to change prior actions by the Government. Rather, this Policy will help ensure that in the future Liberia’s land sector is orderly, just, and contributes to economic growth and development for all Liberians. 

Protecting community lands and natural resources

Protecting community lands and natural resources

In Liberia there is an urgent need for strong legal protections for community lands and natural resources. This report details communities' experiences undertaking land documentation activities and the initial impacts of these efforts on conflict resolution and prevention, intra-community governance and conservation and sustainable natural resource management.

Uncertain Futures: The impacts of Sime Darby on communities in Liberia

Uncertain Futures

This report charts the impacts of palm oil company Sime Darby's operations on communities in Liberia. It presents testimonies of from affected communities and highlights the fears of others where the company plans to expand. It concludes that a new approach to land allocation needs to be developed based on fairness and justice, and backed by appropriate legislation.

Protecting Community Lands and Resources: Evidence from Liberia, Mozambique and Uganda

This report compiles evidence from community land titling initiatives in three countries in an effort to address community land protection issues in policy and practice. The report concludes that community land documentation may be a more efficient method of land protection than individual and family titling.

Signing Their Lives Away

Signing Their Lives Away

This report details how a quarter of Liberia’s total landmass was granted to logging companies in just two years, following an explosion in the use of often illegal logging permits. A new type of logging contracts, Private Use Permits, give companies unparalleled access to some of Liberia’s most pristine forests. The report uncovers how Private Use Permits are being used by companies to avoid Liberia’s carefully-crafted forest laws and regulations.

Curse or Cure?

Curse or Cure?

This report throws a spotlight on Liberia’s fledgling oil and gas sector. An oil find in Liberia, which is still recovering from two natural resource fuelled civil wars, could provide desperately needed revenues if the industry is sufficiently reformed. But this report highlights that Liberia is not currently ready for oil without a comprehensive reform of the country’s oil and gas industry.

Forest Governance and the Voluntary Partnership Agreement

This report presents an analysis of lessons learned from the forest sector reform process and includes recommendations for all key players to ensure the implementation of the VPA will contribute to improving good governance in Liberia.

Where is the Money?

Where is the Money?

ArcelorMittal Liberia contributes US$3 million annually to the County Social Development Fund (CSDF) for development in counties hosting its operations. This report examines the mismanagement of the fund and as a result how it is failing to make significant impacts on the lives of the target beneficiaries. The report recomments reform of the fund to ensure it is accountable, transparenct and involves citizen's participation.

Making the forest sector transparent: Annual transparency report 2010

Making the forest sector transparent: Annual transparency report 2010

This report acts as an annual forest sector report card for Liberia which assesses the transparency of the sector as part of the Making the Forest Sector Transparent project. It recommends that the government fully implement transparency measures contained in various laws and develop action plans to make information accessible and transparent.

Liberia - The Promise Betrayed

Liberia - The Promise Betrayed

This report examines forest law enforcement and governance in post-conflict Liberia and catalogues major issues in the implementation of forest sector reform. It asserts that failure to fully implement reform may put the livelihoods of communities at risk and undermine the implementation of the Poverty Reduction Strategy and any future Voluntary Partnership Agreement with the EU.

Working for Development?

Working for Development?

This report is a follow up to 2009's ‘ArcelorMittal: Going nowhere slowly' and takes an in depth look at the company’s activities in Liberia in terms of their contribution to the country’s development and highlights the failing of the County Social Development Fund in addressing the needs of communities impacted by the operations of ArcelorMittal.

Making the forest sector transparent: Annual transparency report 2009

Making the forest sector transparent: Annual transparency report 2009

This report is the first ever forest sector report card for Liberia as part of the Making the Forest Sector Transparent project. It assesses the transparency and accessibility of information in the forest sector with a particular focus on forest governance. It underlines the vital role FDA, civil society and the private sector play in ensuring increased transparency in the sector.

ArcelorMittal: Going nowhere slowly

ArcelorMittal: Going nowhere slowly

This report catalogues the social and environmental impacts of ArcellorMittal's mining activities globally. It highlights the issues with the company's activities in Liberia such as the lack of transparency in the management of the operations, the displacement of communities, the failure to produce secure employment and the environmental impact on the East Nimba Nature Reserve.

So Who Owns the Forest? Summary

So Who Owns the Forest? Summary

This is a summary of 'So Who Owns the Forest?' which explores issues of property rights and customary land tenure. This report advocates the urgent need for reform which recognises local people's collective entitlement over their customary lands. It offers practical solutions for dealing with land tenure issues for inclusion in national law.

So Who Owns the Forest?

So Who Owns the Forest?

Exploring issues of property rights and customary land tenure, this report advocates the urgent need for reform which recognises local people's collective entitlement over their customary lands. It reviews the treatment of customary land tenure over the century-long process of forming the modern Liberian State and offers practical solutions for dealing with land tenure issues for inclusion in national law.