Ambassador Hélène Cavé, head of European Union (EU) delegation to Liberia, said she is impressed with the country’s progress in managing its forest sector.
Amb. Cavé made the disclosure at the end of a five-day Joint Implementation Committee (JIC) overseeing the EU-Liberia Voluntary Partnership Agreement (VPA) on Forest Law Enforcement, Governance and Trade (FLEGT). The program was recently held in collaboration with the Forestry Development Authority (FDA) in Monrovia.
She said Liberia is high on the list in the forest management program, unlike other Countries where the program is taking place.
Amb. Cavé expressed her wish that Liberia’s model can be used in other thematic areas in the forest sector to benefit the country.
“Unlike in the past, lots of questions have been addressed in the country’s forest management, which was commendable,” she said.
Cavé lauded the working team, which comprises of representatives from government ministries and agencies, members of the civil society organizations, and the private sector for their “perfect example in forest management and sustainability.”
FDA Board Chairman Harrison Karnwea, said Liberia’s forest is governed by the laws for future generation.
Karnwea said timbers will be traded in Europe and other Western countries for better money void of illegal transactions.
He assured the body that revenue generated from the trade will be shared with those communities in accordance with Liberia’s Forestry Reform Law.
He said there is an elaborate benefit-sharing scheme, which ensures that what goes to the community is governed by the committee responsible as proper and independent auditing process. He said by adhering to this, it will bring lots of benefits to the country.
Mr. Karnwea added, “as part of FDA’s 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.”
The VPA aims to improve forest governance, address illegal logging and promote trade in verified legal timber products.
The JIC 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 the Liberian economy was another point stressed at the JIC meeting.
In separate remarks, some of the stakeholders said the key role held by the chain of custody, and legality assurance systems in support of the commercial sector in reaching its potential.