This Scoping Mission Report, aimed at identifying the key land policy and land tenure reform issues and processes facing Sierra Leone, is based on extensive consultations with a wide range of stakeholders and review of available literature, undertaken in July 2009. It was commissioned by the Recovery for Development Unit of the UNDP in collaboration with the Ministry of Lands, Country Planning and the Environment. It will serve the purpose of enhancing public dialogue and programme development on land reform, and to also guide the coordination of initiatives and resource mobilization. The report briefly examines the evolution of land tenure in Sierra Leone and has helped to confirm that the land tenure system consists of a complex *regime which combines a variety of forms of landholding and overlapping land administration systems. The latter involves central and local arms of the state, the hierarchy of chieftainships, differentiated land owning families and other legal personnel, and a variety of landholding and land using agents (individuals, families, corporations, state entities, municipalities). The forms of landholding range from the freehold (fee simple) to ‘customary land ownership’ along with various forms of land leasing and rentals, statutory declarative land ownership, state land ownership and a variety of incidences of ‘informal’ and/or illegal forms of land occupation. Over the last decade, population movements particularly to the Freetown Peninsular and other urban centres, and growing domestic and foreign investments in farming, mining, real estate development and tourism, have expanded the number and forms of land transactions. This has placed increased pressures on the land administration systems and land tenure relationships, including some exclusion from land access.
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