Liberia started VPA negotiations in 2009 and the VPA entered into force on 1 December 2013. Liberia is currently developing the systems needed to control, verify and license legal timber.
Forests are important contributors to Liberia’s formal and informal economies. For many communities, forests are critical to livelihoods but major drivers of deforestation include slash-and-burn agriculture, charcoal production and artisanal logging.
China is now the main importer of Liberian timber, but both Liberia and the EU expect that VPA implementation will strengthen the standing of Liberian timber products on the EU market. Liberia contains more than half the entire rainforest remaining in West Africa. About 45 per cent of the country, 4.3 million hectares, is covered by forest. During Liberia’s civil war in the 1990s and early 2000s, timber revenues were misappropriated and used to sustain the conflict. In 2003, the UN Security Council imposed sanctions on timber exports from Liberia. These sanctions were lifted in 2006 following the country’s efforts to reform the forest sector.
A brief history of VPA negotiations so far, from a civil society perspective
Civil society and local community groups in Liberia have been using the VPA negotiations and implementation to push for change on issues that are important to them. In 2015 a number of Liberia civil society organisations published a report documenting the value of the VPA and how they have used it.
A detailed assessment of the VPA negotiation process is covered in a report published by SDI at the conclusion of negotiations.
Would you like to receive an e-mail notification when new documents related to Liberia are uploaded to Loggingoff?
For more information about the VPA in Liberia, please contact SDI Liberia. This page was last updated on 9 November 2016