EU Head Of Delegation Impressed With Liberia’s Progress In Forest Management

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The Head of delegation of the European Union to Liberia Ambassador Helene Cave says she is impressed with Liberia’s Progress in the forest management sector of the Country.

According to her Liberia is high on the list in the forest management program unlike other Countries where the program is taking place.

Ambassador Cave lauded the working team which she noted comprise the government, Civil Society and the private sector which she pointed out shows a perfect example on how sustainable development can be taken into account,economic and the protection of the environment including the social aspect amongst others.

The European Union diplomat wish that said model can be used in other thermatic areas in the interest of the Country.
She added that unlike in the past lots of questions have been addressed something she noted is commendable.
” I am confident,Liberia is progressing well” ,she noted.

Also speaking at the signing ceremony the board chairman of the Forestry Development Authority Harrison Karnwea said Liberia’s forest is governed by the laws of the Country and for future generation.

He said the timbers will be traded to Europe and other Countries for better money void of illegality.

Mr. Karnwea assured the body that revenue generated will be share with the various communities according to the Forestry reform law of Liberia.
He said there is an elaborate benefit sharing scheme which ensure that what goes to the community is governed by the committee responsible as proper and independent auditing process is as well aheard to noting that it brings a lot of benefits to the Country.
The VPA aims to improve forest governance, address illegal logging and promote trade in verified legal timber products. As part of its VPA commitments, Liberia is progressing in the implementation of a system to verify the legality of its timber products from forest to point of export and essential milestones are about to be reached.

At the two days gathering ,The Joint Implementation Committee discussed progress made in implementing the system and improving the capacities of government agencies, the private sector, civil society and communities. The economic importance of the forest sector for Liberian economy was another point stressed at the JIC meeting. Several stakeholders noted the key role held by the chain of custody and legality assurance systems in support of the commercial sector in reaching its potential.

The JIC also discussed challenges, such as the Government of Liberia´s delay in disbursing the legally required share of the land rental fee to the National Benefit Sharing Trust Board (NBSTB) due to budgetary constraints. The JIC agreed that more discussion is needed and that a mechanism needs to be established to facilitate future disbursements from the budget. The EU highlighted that Liberia’s legal framework for sharing of benefits with logging affected communities is exemplary, and that the National Union of Community Forestry Development Committees (NUCFDC), the NBSTB, the Government and all stakeholders should work together towards effectively implementing them, so as to be an example of best practices for other countries.
The VPA Secretariat presented the VPA transparency requirements and both parties stressed the importance of the availability of information on the forest sector. The FDA committed to make disaggregated information available to the public. The JIC also endorsed a specific communications strategy so as to reach out to the forest stakeholders and the broader public about VPA-related issues, including progress achieved and areas for improvement.