The methodology for gathering information for the 2012 Annual Report Card followed a similar pattern as the one used in 2011. Data was obtained from the websites of the Forestry Development Authority (FDA) and its chain of custody service provider, the Société Générale de Surveillance (SGS), the Voluntary Partnership Agreement (VPA), the Liberia Extractive Industries Transparency Initiative (LEITI) and the Land Commission. In addition, the FDA's Info Center, which is intended to be a main repository for all forestry related information in the public domain and was unofficially opened to the public in October 2011, was used for the first time to request information. However, it did little to address previous concerns over the lack of up-to-date information on the forestry sector.
Key publications that were instrumental in the preparation of the 2012 Annual Transparency Report Card for the forest sector include: (1) the Land Commission’s Annual report for 2011 and its report on Private Use Permits (PUPs) produced in April 2012; (2) copies of some PUP documents provided by the FDA; (3) SGS’s monthly updates regarding the fiscal obligations of logging companies operating in Liberia; (4) reports released by LEITI on payments made by logging companies to the government; (5) the newly created VPA website, which hosts all aide memoires of the negotiations and pre-implementation meetings between Liberia and the EU; and (6) documents from the NGO Coalition for Liberia related to its recent advocacy actions, including communication between the Coalition, its international partners, and other relevant government agencies related to forestry issues. The final evaluation of the USAID-funded Land Rights and Community Forestry Programme1 and the Liberia Forest Sector Diagnostic Report2 prepared for the World Bank were also useful references.
(1) Russell, D., Tobiason, A., Hasson, K., Miller, D.M. and De Wit, P. (2011) Final Evaluation of the Land Rights and Community Forestry Program. USAID/ Liberia, October 2011. Available at http://rmportal.net/library/content/liberias-land-rights-and-community-forestry-program/final-evaluation-of-the-land-rights-and-community-forestry-program-lrcfp/at_download/file
(2) Smyle, J. (2012) Liberia Forest Sector Diagnostic. Final Draft prepared for the World Bank, April 2012.