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Liberia : Indicators

2012 > 20 Key Indicators 2012 > Forest Ownership and Resource Use Maps

The contract documents for Forest Management Contracts and Timber Sales Contracts include maps with geo-reference points, which are available online from the Liberia Extractive Industries Transparency Initiative (LEITI) website. Smaller maps produced by the Forestry Development Authority give an indication of the location of concessions, protected areas, and forests considered suitable for community use. These maps are available to the public on request, but there is a charge to access them.

However, there is no indicative or definitive map of customary or deeded private land. In addition to making specific maps available from each responsible government agency, it would be a useful exercise to produce maps of land ownership and hold them centrally with a public institution, because this would help to clarify the situation and reduce existing conflicts over competing claims.

Following pressure and exposés from NGOs, over 2012 it was revealed that Private Use Permits (PUPs) for timber extraction had been agreed on over two million hectares; nearly a quarter of the country in total. Documents for 26 PUPs, including maps, were eventually published on the LEITI website. However, it is estimated that some 66 PUPs had been granted, but there are no maps that showed their full extent or location. The investigation by Sustainable Development Institute, Save My Future Foundation and Global Witness mapped the location of known PUPs using what data could be accessed (1); however this also revealed a major failing on the part of the authorities to publish such a map to inform all stakeholders on an important change in land use.

(1) Global Witness, Save My Future Foundation and Sustainable Development Institute, Signing Their Lives Away: Liberia’s Private Use Permits and the Destruction of Community-Owned Rainforest, 4 September 2012. Available at www.globalwitness.org/library/signing-their-lives-away-liberia%E2%80%99s-private-use-permits-and-destruction-community-owned

Title Maps of areas in contract documents for some Forest Management Contracts, Timber Sales Contracts and Private Use Permits
Organisation Liberia Extractive Industries Transparency Initiative
Source http://www.leiti.org.lr/2content.php?main=65&related=65&pg=mp
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