The ninth Joint Implementation Committee (JIC) of the Liberia-EU Forest Law Enforcement, Governance and Trade (FLEGT) Voluntary Partnership Agreement (VPA) which was held in Monrovia, has ended.
Representatives of Liberia and of the European Union (EU) met in Monrovia City Hall from Monday, 21st to Thursday, 24th March 2022. According to a released statement from the European Union (EU) mission in Monrovia on Thursday, the meeting aimed to improve forest governance and legality.
The meeting, co-chaired by the Forestry Development Authority (FDA) and the Delegation of the European Union to Liberia, had participants from a broad range of representatives from the ministries, agencies, community forests, private sectors, Civil Society Organisations, donor communities including the UK Embassy and the United States Agency for International Development (USAID).
Important issues were addressed and next steps agreed on, which included:
- The results of an independent investigation carried-out by request of the FDA and the Ministry of Justice into alleged irregularities in Timber Sales Contract Area 2 (TSC A2) were presented alongside the remedial actions already taken by the FDA and a number of further actions foreseen.
- A dedicated multistakeholder committee delivered a technical proposal on how to integrate the laws concerning community forestry into the legality assurance system being developed through the VPA. This proposal will now be reviewed by Liberia and the European Union, with a view to further contributing to the legality and sustainability of Community Forestry.
In a statement, it was revealed that the technical proposal delivered by the multistakeholder committee on how to integrate the laws concerning community forestry into the legality assurance system being developed through the VPA, will be reviewed by Liberia and the European Union, with a view to further contributing to the legality and sustainability of Community Forestry.
The committee pledged to conserve forests and implement policies that would ensure their protection, restoration and sustainable use. Against this background, two independent reports on the long-term sustainability of the Liberian Forest sector were presented and discussed.
They concluded by identifying the need to find a suitable forum to develop a clear pathway to a more integrated approach to the management of the forest sector.