The Head of the European Union Delegation in Liberia, Tiina Intelmann, has said that the EU will continue to build the nation’s forestry capacity to enhance governance in the sector. She said the EU will also work to help ensure that proceeds generated from logging activities go into government’s coffer.
Intelmann assured that governance and transparency in logging activities in Liberia will be made possible as the nation is being guided by the Comprehensive Forestry Agreement between the Government of Liberia and the EUas the EU envoy disclosed that regular consultative meetings have resumed on the forestry agreement between the Government and EU that were suspended as a result of the Ebola outbreak.
Intelmann said the EU is interested in ensuring that logs extracted from Liberia’s forest are accounted for as a stringent forest governance structure has been put into place under the agreement to ensure that logs are not illegally extracted from Liberia. The EU envoy noted that the agreement focuses not only on the institution of a comprehensive forest management and logging governance structure, but also on ensuring that forest resources are used in a renewable manner and are also considering an agreement which will ensure the enhancement of the nation’s fishery sector to protect that sector too.
It can be recalled that in 2011, the Government of Liberia and the EU signed a Voluntary Partnership Agreement (VPA) aimed at improving forest governance by tackling illegal logging, improving transparency and public participation in the sector, among others.
Liberia, with a land mass of 42,000 sq miles (111,370 sq km) and a population of 4,092,310 (2014 est) continues to enjoy a stable and democratic government since 2003. Since then, it has organized two presidential and legislative elections, including a Special Senatorial Election held in December 2014. President Ellen Johnson Sirleaf is now completing the second and final six-year term which ends in 2017. Presidential and Legislative elections are to take place in October 2017 and the newly elected government will be inaugurated in January 2018.