The forestry law and regulations and the Public Procurement and Concession Act require transparent processes for allocating forest resource licences, including publication of the final contract. The Forestry Development Authority (FDA) makes available to the public on request the seven Forest Management Contracts (FMCs) and ten Timber Sales Contracts (TSCs) ratified in 2008/09; however it has not published them online even though it has developed a new website. Nonetheless, the Liberia Extractive Industries Transparency Initiative (LEITI) Act also requires publication of all extractive contracts including forestry, and the LEITI Secretariat has uploaded six of the seven Forest Management Contracts and nine of the 10 Timber Sales Contracts to its website.
No further concessions for FMCs and TSCs have been allocated since 2008/09, but over 2012 it gradually came to light that Private Use Permits (PUPs) had been agreed covering over two million hectares of land. PUPs are specified in the law as a licence to allow commercial use of forest resources on private land, which was intended to relate to small, individual landowners. The FDA has not been forthcoming in releasing information on PUPs, even to other government bodies. In 2011 it only confirmed three such permits, but following sustained pressure from the NGO Coalition of Liberia the Board of Directors confirmed 55 in February 2012 and the Land Commission then identified 62 in April 2012. However, only 26 of these permits have been made available to the public and published on the LEITI website. Public information on this important trend in forest resource use has been grossly inadequate. Many permits are purportedly on community land, there is increasing evidence that due process has not been followed in agreeing them (1). Furthermore, given their size, some of the PUPs may qualify as a FMC.
(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||a. National Forestry Reform Law 2006
b. Liberia Extractive Industries Transparency Initiative Act 2009
c. Contract documents for Forest Management Contracts, Timber Sales Contracts and Private Use Permits