Liberia-EU Voluntary Partnership Agreement (VPA) Ends Sixth Annual Joint Implementation Committee meeting, Signed Aide Memoire To Improve Forest Governance

The Board Chair of the Forestry Development Authority Harrison Karnwea has recommitted Liberia’s continued preparedness to manage her forest including forest resources sustainability for the benefit of all Liberians.
Speaking at the close of the sixth annual Joint Implementation Committee Meeting of the Voluntary Partnership Agreement on Tuesday July 10,2018 Mr. Karnwea pledged Liberia’s continued support to the VPA because according to him the agreement adds values and makes Liberia’s Timbers acceptable worldwide.
“I look forward to the successful implementation of the VPA hopefully in 2020 where Liberia will join Indonesia in issuing flag certificates” he added.
As another phase of support to the agreement ends in October of this year,the FDA board chair wants partners to continue to support the VPA’s implementation in the Country.
Also speaking at the program was the head of corporation section resilience of the European Union delegation to Liberia Alberto Menghini who said the signing of the Aide Memoire Tuesday is a testimony that the VPA is alive and kicking.
Alberto noted that the EU is pleased that the new Administration of the Forestry Development Authority is committed to the agreement noting that the sixth annual Joint Implementation meeting is the first under the new management team and they are impressed thus far.
He said the Forestry sector has a huge potential for Liberia and with the target under the pro poor development agenda of increasing the contributions of the national Gross Domestic Product (GDP) of 12% more good things are possible, he noted.
“We believe that through the VPA,We can all work together so that the sector can generate more revenue, jobs including promoting an ever improved governance of the sector so that the economic growth is not only economic but also social and the benefit is shown to all Liberians,Mr. Menghini indicated.
Pledging further the EU’s continued support to the initiative,Alberto uttered that they are working hard and are as well hopeful that by 2020,the insuring of flag license objective will be fulfill especially with the resources and commitment all in tight.
Though the initiative is not a development related one rather a trade agreement but the EU is happy and pleased to have such corporation, he added.
The EU’s head of corporation section told reporters at the close of the meeting that generating home grown economic development is one of the ways in which Liberia can break the circle on depending on international partners.
The Voluntary Partnership Agreement (VPA) is a legally binding trade agreement between the EU and a timber exporting country outside the EU.
A VPA amongst other things aimed to ensure that all timber and timber products destined for the EU market from a partner country could comply with the laws of that Country.
Additionally VPA’s promote trade in legal timber, address the causes of illegality by improving forest Governance and law enforcement.
A major strength of VPAs is that they look beyond trade to consider development and environmental issues.
The meeting which brought together stakeholders from the sector including partners was held at the Monrovia City Hall as participants discussed critical sustainability and governance issues in a move for the people to directly benefit.
Meanwhile additional financing agreement to the VPA will be signed on Thursday, July 12,2018.