Proper land use planning that takes into account the social and cultural knowledge of local communities is key in consolidating peace, reducing conflict and enhancing social cohesion

The Institute for Research and Democratic Development (IREDD) with support from the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) has launched a mapping and land use verification in Bomi and Grand Kru Counties.

The initiative is from Assessed Funding under UNDP’s Extractive Industries for Sustainable Development (EISD) Project.

It is designed to develop geo database maps for land use planning and the broader land reform. After the mapping, the two concessions – affected communities will have GIS base maps developed showing details of existing land use patterns which will inform government’s policy formulation, private investors planning and community engagement in the sector.

The GIs maps to be developed will clearly show the exact areas covered and what livelihoods or community activities are taking place.

Current land-use planning is based on formal maps that make no mention of customary and village boundaries. This makes communities vulnerable, as concession companies may expand their plantations on community land without the consent of the local people who use this land.

Participatory land-use planning will help address this since it is people-centred and uses the bottom-up approach that incorporates inputs from all.

It also has the potential to prevent land-use conflicts since all stakeholders are involved in the mapping process.

In implementing this, IREDD will work closely with relevant government agencies, local authorities, opinion leaders, women and youth representatives in the community and other relevant partners to ensure all the required information is shared and captured.

Proper land use planning that takes into account the social and cultural knowledge of local communities is key in consolidating peace, reducing conflict and enhancing social cohesion. 

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