Liberian community forestry meeting

Briefing / Aug. 4, 2017

Changes needed to Liberia’s legal framework governing community forestry

It is too easy for community forests to be co-opted by logging companies and local elites for narrowly commercial and unsustainable ends

After decades of industrial logging and forest mismanagement, the Liberian government has pledged that it will now only issue forest licenses to the communities who own the forest. 

This welcome change could be undermined however, by weaknesses in the country’s laws that govern how community forest licenses are awarded and managed. Fixes are needed to ensure community leaders are accountable to the people and to stop logging companies from co-opting these licenses and clear-cutting the forests.

This Global Witness brief proposes safeguards that the Liberian government, and communities themselves, should implement before any new community forest licenses are awarded. As Liberia prepares for presidential and legislative elections it is crucial that these Community Forestry Management Agreement (CFMA) applications are not approved until a robust legal framework to govern them is fully in place.

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