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Liberia-EU Voluntary Partnership Agreement

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Thursday, 28 July 2011

Liberia-EU Voluntary Partnership Agreement

Ambassador Jan Tombinski, the Polish Permanent Representative to the EU representing the Presidency of the Council of the EU, Mme Comfort Swengbe, Liberia's Charge d'Affaire in Brussels and Luis Riera, the lead negotiator representing the European Commission, signed a Voluntary Partnership Agreement between the European Union and Liberia on forest law enforcement, governance and trade in timber products to the European Union in Brussels on 27th July 2011. 

Liberia is home to over half the entire rainforest remaining in West Africa, with almost 45% of the country (4.3 million Ha) covered by forest.  The negotiations were launched in March 2009 and have taken over two years to reach conclusion. The process has involved a wide range of Liberian stakeholders, including several Ministries and government agencies, civil society, the private sector, and community representatives. The Voluntary Partnership Agreement (VPA) aims to strengthen governance and law enforcement in the forestry sector and, through a licensing system, provide the assurance that its timber has been legally produced. It also demonstrates the Government of Liberia’s commitment to improving accountability and transparency in the sector.

Source: Polish Presidency