Liberia must learn to honor the rights of rural residents to manage their own land - LA Times
Some 40% of Liberia is under concessions for logging, oil and mining. While these lands may appear empty on government maps, they are home to millions. A recent analysis by the Munden Group of 237 mining and agriculture concessions in Liberia found that all had established communities in their midst.
The ancestors of the people in these rural communities have lived on and farmed this land since before Liberia became a republic in 1847 — long before Sirleaf’s government took power and before the dictatorships and civil wars that wreaked havoc across the country.
These people rely on the lands as a source of food and shelter, as well as the foundation of their culture and spirituality. Having survived so much, these people now face the prospect of losing their homes to multinational corporations. True economic development would instead improve the lives of people in these communities, rather than displace them.