This brief highlights the case of International Consultant Capital (ICC), the holder of FMC Area K in River Cess County. This case is not unique, but it is used to illustrate the failings of the major logging companies operating in Liberia. Since Forest Management Contracts (FMCs) were allocated in 2008 and 2009 there have been several concerns including the capacity of concessionaires to manage their concessions and to meet their financial and social obligations.
Due to its limited financial capacity ICC was unable to commence logging activities in the concession when it signed the contract in 2009. After almost 5 years of inactivity, the company sub-contracted Forest Venture Inc. to log the concession. Forest Venture was involved in illegal logging under Private Use Permits (PUPs) that have been cancelled. Therefore, allowing Forest Venture to log in FMC Area K has implications for the rule of law in the logging industry specifically and forest governance broadly.
The company now owes about $8 million in Land Rental Fees to the government of Liberia. The affected communities are entitled to 30 per cent of this amount. The company’s failure to pay the Land Rental Fees and to meet its obligations established in the Social Agreement deprives the affected communities of their rightful benefits from logging in their area. This violates the forestry laws and regulations and the terms of the contract.