A Consortium on the Prowl for Evidence
In 2013, Cordaid and the Coalition Factory gave Green Scenery the possibility to join a NGO consortium that was set up to protect the rights of communities in Sierra Leone by effectively carrying out lobby and advocacy activities on land ownership and land use based on information gathered with GIS/GPS.
Green Scenery, the Network Movement for Justice and Development and the Sierra Leone Network on the Right to Food joint forces in a consortium that helped them to build their capacities both through mutual learning within the partnership itself and through linking with other stakeholders. A major tool to find evidence for the campaigns of the consortium was the introduction of the Geographic Information System (GIS) and the Global Positioning Systems (GPS), all three organizations received training in how to use the technologies. In addition, capacity building in the areas of strategic thinking and strategic development led to a further enhancement of existing research skills. This enabled the consortium members to develop effective lobby interventions targeting food security, social and economic development and enhanced water- and environmental management for several communities in the country.
In Sierra Leone, foreign investors take over more and more of the country’s arable land for large-scale plantations. Big land deals are often done without the participation of local communities in the negotiation processes, resulting in serious challenges for small-scale farmers regarding their access to land. These challenges expose a growing tension between land use needs and interests of local farmers who focus on food production and those of multinational companies who have acquired large parcels of land for either large-scale agriculture, biofuel production or mining purposes. This poses serious threats to the food security and the livelihoods of the local population.
Green Scenery, the Network Movement for Justice and Development and the Sierra Leone Network on the Right to Food showed complementarities, both through their thematic focus and regarding their geographical coverage. The research and lobby activities of the consortium benefitted the following Chiefdoms: Malen, Gallinas-Peri, Makari Gbanti, Kholifa Rowala, Tankoro and Bureh Kasseh Makonteh.