Customary communities’ statement on Liberia’s draft Conservation Agreement with Blue Carbon

Representatives of forested Communities from the following counties including Sinoe, Rivercess, Grand Bassa, River Gee, Grand Gedeh, Bong, Lofa, Grand Cape Mount, Margibi and Bomi attending a two-day dialogue are deeply concerned about ongoing negotiations between the Government of Liberia and the company Blue Carbon of United Arab Emirates.

The Liberian Government is in negotiations with Blue Carbon for the purpose of entering into a contractual agreement to harvest carbon and share profits generated from approximately one million hectares (1m ha) of Liberia’s forest including customary lands.

We wish to inform the Liberian Government that this development is very disturbing to communities given that Liberia’s communities have been granted customary rights over the country’s land and forest which grants us Free Prior Informed Consent (FPIC) before granting any concession, especially of such magnitude and alarming size on communities’ customary land. The proposed Conservation Agreement between Liberia and Blue Carbon will definitely have severe implications for access and livelihoods to Liberia’s customary communities.

We wish to remind the Liberian Government that Article 33(3) of the Land Rights Act (LRA) requires FPIC of the Community for ‘any interference with or use of the surface of Customary Land’. In compliance with this provision, communities hereby demand the Government of Liberia to immediately Halt ongoing negotiations with Blue Carbon and first seek affected communities’ FPIC before proceeding further.

This statement was informed by the outcome of a two-day policy dialogue focused on identifying lessons learned and deepening efforts to strengthen community land rights which took place at the Corina Hotel, Sinkor, Monrovia, on August 16 & 17, 2023.


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