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Monday, 02 June 2014

Liberia-EU Sign Forest Governance and Trade Agreement

A joint agreement between Liberia and the EU was signed on Thursday at the Chamber of Commerce. This agreement aims to put in place a system to verify the legality of Liberia's timber production and strengthen forest sector governance.
The agreement will increase in long-term revenue for communities and the government, investment and job creation.
The problem of fraud and abuse in the forestry sector has been a serious issue. Recently, President Ellen Johnson-Sirleaf imposed a moratorium on all timber exports because of the fraudulent issuance of the Private Use Permits PUPs.
Among the issues discussed were the key milestones in the development of the timber legality assurance system, recent developments and challenges in the sector, including forestry management agreement and improved transfer of timber revenues to communities.
EU Ambassador Antonio Pacifici said: "I have been encouraged by the frankness and inclusiveness of the discussions we had today. I would like to recognize recent efforts made by the government of Liberia and the FDA to address issues surrounding community forestry management agreement rights charting a way forward to strengthen the role out of community forestry, with active involvement of civil society."
The managing Director of the FDA Harrison Karnwea welcomed the role played by NGOs. "I want to give particular thanks to the EU, DFID, USAID and others who are providing support to local NGOs to build their capacity to actively carry out activities supporting the monitoring of forestry.

Source: Front Page Africa