Skip to content. | Skip to navigation

Navigation

XFT June Meeting on Liberia

by Jean Brennan last modified Jan 10, 2013 11:47 AM
"The Liberia Forestry Initiative (LFI)-a comprehensive approach to forest sector reform in a fragile state." A series of presentation by: Scot Bode (USAID) on the topic of Community Forestry; Bob Simpson and Oliver Pierson (USFS) on the topic of Commercial Forestry; and Bob Simpson and Jessica Donovan (CI) on the topic of Forest Conservation.
When Jun 07, 2006
from 09:00 AM to 10:30 AM
Where 1325 G. St., NW, Suite 400, Nile Conference Room, Washington DC
Contact Name
Add event to calendar vCal
iCal

Background

Over 45% of Liberia is still forested, and these forests constitute the largest remaining blocks of the Upper Guinean Forest Ecosystem, a threatened global hotspot for biodiversity that is home to many rare and endangered flora and fauna. Additionally, Liberia’s forests play a vital role in the nation's economy. As recently as 2002, the forest sector was generating up to 60 percent of the nation's foreign exchange earnings and employing around 7,000 people. But in spite of the ecological, cultural and economic value of these forests, management of this resource has been dismal, and the sector is plagued by corruption and lack of planning, as well as a Forestry Department that is drastically under-funded, untrained, and by most accounts, ineffectual. Under the regime of Charles Taylor, forests in Liberia were not managed sustainably or transparently or equitably. Finally, in August of 2003, after almost two decades of civil war, Taylor fled the country and a UN peace keeping mission entered to help establish a National Transition Government that could govern until elections could be held in the fall of 2005. At this time the US Government made a decision to support the Transitional Government, and the U.S. Congress made $200 million available for reconstruction in Liberia – of which approximately $4 million was earmarked to support forest sector reform.

The Liberian Forest Initiative
With these funds, USAID worked with the State Department, the US Forest Services, the World Bank, and the UN, and several NGO’s to launch a multi-faceted program to reform the forest sector. This effort soon became known as the Liberia Forest Initiative (LFI). The overarching long-term goal of the LFI is to reform the forest sector in Liberia so its forests are managed sustainably and for the benefit of all Liberians. From the outset, the LFI acknowledged the equally important roles of commercial forestry, community forestry and forest conservation. The commercial forestry component of LFI focused on getting the sector back to a point where the government could grant “concessions” (legal permission to extract timber) in a fair, competitive and transparent manner, and then use revenues from these concessions to invest in public services (e.g. roads, schools, clinics, etc.). The community forestry component involves increasing community involvement in decisions regarding the management of forests, and finding ways to help communities use forest resources to improve livelihoods. And last, but definitely not least, the LFI works to conserve strategic forested areas (i.e. parks and protected areas) for future generations.

For more information on LFI you can go the website http://www.fao.org/forestry/foris/webview/LFI/index

Filed under:
Back to Top