„Our lands – our rights!” – This was the slogan of last weeks’ workshop in Bo, Sierra Leone, where the Land for Life initiative was relaunched.
The majority of participants came from civil society or community-based organisations, but there were also representatives from the public sector. Of particular importance were the contributions of two organizations: The Sierra Leonean Network on the Right to Food (SiLNoRF) shared previous experiences of having facilitated Multi-Actor-Dialogue in an area affected by a large-scale land-based investment.
The Malen Land Owners and Users Association (MALOA), a community-based advocacy initiative from an area heavily affected by land rights violations, reminded everyone of the urgency of the matter, the need to persist and to collaborate.A participant concluded: “Intellectually: do we think the Multi-Actor-Partnership approach can work to address these issues? – Yes. But with reservations. It will take a long time to change the minds of people who have benefited from the corrupt system in the past.” Another one agreed, adding: “MAP is just an instrument. An instrument is never neutral. Its use depends on who is using it, with what kind of agenda. We can only achieve change, if our goal is truly transformative.”
© Welthungehilfe, Bo, January 2019, MAP stakeholder workshop