CDR Consults with Governments on Land Ownership Issues and Disputes in Liberia and Timor-Leste

Liberia

The Liberian government’s new land policy involves new procedures for customary communities to secure legal ownership of community land, which previously has been considered public land owned by the Government. To secure community ownership, customary communities will be required to identify their members (including women and minorities who may have come from or be members of other ethnic communities), negotiate boundaries with adjoining communities, and establish broadly representative governance structures for community land management and administration.

During 2016, CDR Associates Partner, Christopher Moore, conducted research with its Liberian partner, Parley, and wrote a monograph on Harmonizing Boundaries: Effective Negotiation Procedures for Delimiting, Demarcating and Resolving Disputes over Boundaries. This monograph is available on CDR’s website at here.

To facilitate the implementation of boundary harmonization, Moore designed and conducted training programs for staff of Liberian government agencies and non-governmental organizations to prepare them to work with communities to collaboratively delimit and demarcate their boundaries. Subsequently, Parley conducted multiple joint boundary harmonization workshops for adjoining communities and provided coaching assistance as they negotiated and established their common boundaries.

CDR’s assistance has been provided directly for the Liberian Land Commission and through the U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID) and Tetra Tech’s Land Dispute Resolution Project (LCRP) and Land Governance Support Project (LGSA).

Timor-Leste

In the fall of 2016, CDR Partner Christopher Moore conducted a speaking tour in Timor-Leste to discuss land issues and dispute resolution systems that could be implemented to effectively resolve them. During the week-long tour, Chris met with government agencies, non-governmental organizations and university faculty and students.  His presentations focused on systems and procedures developed in other countries that could be used to address the kinds of land disputes that will inevitably arise with the passage of the country’s new law.  Chris also made a presentation to print and electronic media reporters on approaches for fair and impartial reporting on land issues and the new law.  The goal of the presentation was to provide guidance and techniques for reporters that would help them to inform members of the public on the new law and mitigate problems and disputes related to its implementation.

For more information on a range of CDR’s international development, environmental, land and water projects, find Chris Moore’s contact information here.

Colorado River Water Conservation District – Facilitating Agreements on Evolving Strategic Priorities

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As Colorado’s principal policy and planning agency for the Colorado River, the Colorado River District covers 15 counties on Colorado’s Western Slope as it winds its way through seven western states into Mexico. While the River District has a long and accomplished history in the Colorado River Basin, meeting its mission of protecting, conserving and developing the Colorado River’s resources for the diverse and evolving needs of western Colorado – including significant agricultural, municipal, environmental and recreational interests – is no easy feat. This is particularly true in an era of increasing uncertainty, competition for water resources, and rapidly changing demographics, culture, and technology. CDR Associates facilitated a process for the District’s Board, representing 15 counties throughout western Colorado, to identify and prioritize strategic goals for the District as it enters a new era of reallocation, scarcity and variability. This process required understanding the diverse and varying needs of the river’s sub-basins, balancing short-term water needs with long-term goals, weighing climate projections, considering inter-state Compact requirements and needs, and striving to protect western agriculture while representing evolving priorities of the ‘new West.’ It required staying true to the District’s advocacy mission and history, while continuing to integrate collaborative approaches to help meet the District’s goals. The planning process will be reflected in an updated strategic plan for the District to help guide it through this time of significant change for District and the entire Colorado River Basin. For more information, contact Ryan Golten or Chris Moore, visit our water practice page, or visit the Colorado River District’s website.

Notes From the Field: CDR Assists the Liberian Forest Development Authority with its Global Climate Change Initiative

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Liberia possesses some of the most extensive and bio-diverse primary tropical rain forests in the world.  They cover 4.3 million hectares, are an important national environmental and social endowment, and are central to the economic development of the country and critical for livelihoods of its citizens. The Government of Liberia is embarking on a major national and international venture to help address global climate change. Under the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC), the Government of Liberia is participating in the Reduce Emissions from Deforestation and Forest Degradation (REDD+) initiative to

CDR Associates, with  partner Parley Liberia, has been supporting the Liberian Forest Development Authority and concerned stakeholders to develop an effective Feedback and Grievance Redress Mechanism (FGRM) that will effectively address disputes that may arise during REDD+ visioning, planning and implementation phases.  Having a FGRM in place is a requirement for REDD+ readiness. To date, CDR has prepared the Inception Report for the project, is supporting fieldwork conducted by Parley, and is helping convene a representative group of stakeholders to participate in multiple “designshops” to design and build national capacities to implement the FGRM. For more information, contact Chris Moore or Susan Wildau or visit our sustainable development practice area page.

CDR Assists Colorado Marijuana Enforcement Division in Enhancing Metrc Software

In order to effectively enforce legalized marijuana in Colorado, the Colorado Marijuana Enforcement Division has a software system to track the process from marijuana harvest to retail sales—the Metrc system (Marijuana Enforcement Tracking Reporting Compliance) which is also used in Alaska and Oregon. CDR Associates, as part of the Rebound Solutions team, facilitated meetings among state government employees and users of the system including cultivators, manufacturers, retail stores and third-party vendors. The user group provides recommendations on how to enhance the software, and the State Licensing Authority and Marijuana Enforcement Division make all decisions on what upgrades to make. In order to prioritize enhancements, the group identified criteria and developed a list of priorities for 3-month intervals. They also discussed principles for data integrity. Meetings provide an opportunity for the software developer, Franwell, to share updates and respond to questions, and refine next steps for updates. For more information, contact Laura Sneeringer or visit the Marijuana Enforcement Division or Metrc websites.

CDR Facilitates Development of Crystal River Management Plan

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Agricultural production has historically been the cornerstone of the lifestyle, culture and economy of Crystal River valley and remains so today. However, growing population and changing demographics in the valley have heightened interest in recreational, environmental and aesthetic values of the Crystal River. In recent drought years, recorded extreme low flows in the lower Crystal River fueled concerns and controversy among residents, conservation groups, environmental advocates, resource agencies and the agricultural community about the health of the River. In response, the local watershed organization, Roaring Fork Conservancy provided essential local capacity and team building to develop and implement the Crystal River Management Plan (CRMP). CDR Associates, Lotic Hydrological, and the Public Counsel of the Rockies helped support their efforts.

The CRMP provided a collaborative community process to bring diverse stakeholders together to openly explore and discuss values, resource use priorities, and feasibility constraints around water management alternatives. The Plan was extensively vetted with stakeholders to ensure broad support and buy-in for the plan as a platform for implementation. The stakeholder process represented a significant investment of time, trust and cooperation by stakeholders throughout the project, and provides a foundation for working together as a community to implement the CRMP recommendations.

Stakeholder input generated in early group meetings, informal “coffee shop” encounters, and community informational meetings also guided the choice of alternative management practices that were analyzed: market based incentives for water conservation through bypassed flows; infrastructure improvements and efficiency upgrades; off-stream storage; habitat enhancement through channel modification. This input helped to illuminate management constraints beyond the ecological and physical processes such as agricultural operations, planting cycles, policies, markets and social attitudes.

CDR supported the effort by framing questions and digging deep to understand stakeholder values and perspectives, building support for the scientific approach and methodology, and clarifying the outcomes and time frames. For more information, contact Jonathan Bartsch, visit our water practice page or review the CRMP on the Roaring Fork Conservancy website.

CDR Completes 23rd Year of Training Mediators for the United Nations

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CDR Associates worked with Francesc Vendrell, the former personal representative to the UN Secretary General and the Special Representative of the European Union for Afghanistan, to lead a multi-day mediation training session in a module of the United Nations Institute for Training and Research (UNITAR) Fellowship Programme in Peacemaking and Preventive Diplomacy.  The seminar, organized by UNITAR and the International Peace Institute and held in Oslo, was attended by close to 40 UN staff and foreign service officers from around the world. The mediation module presented effective intermediary procedures and skills using the case of Afghanistan and potential negotiations between the Government of Afghanistan and the Taliban.  A description of the program can be found in Strengthening the Practice of Peacemaking and Preventive Diplomacy in the United Nations:  The UNITAR Approach, to which CDR’s Chris Moore and Susan Wildau contributed several chapters. For more information, contact Chris Moore or Susan Wildau or visit our training page.