Sierra Leone Mining Law Requires Community Consent

Sierra Leone’s parliament has passed an act which will require mining companies operating in the country to obtain local community consent before starting mining projects. The Mines and Mineral Development Act of 2022 will mean those owning land impacted by mining will now have the right to veto projects. The law will require companies operating to obtain the Free Prior and Informed Consent (FPIC) from local communities and landowners before starting or continuing projects. The law also grants women equal land rights. While women make up the majority of the country’s agricultural work force, they often face barriers to owning land. According to Aisha Fofana Ibrahim, a Professor of Gender Studies at the University of Sierra Leone, this has left them dependent on their husband or male relatives and at risk of losing access to land in case of divorce or death. The new legislation creates committees tasked with managing communal lands and resolving land disputes, at least 30% of whose members will have to be women.  

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