As non-governmental organisations (NGOs) operating in Europe, the US and China, we fully support money flowing to highly forested countries and specifically to the indigenous peoples and local communities in those countries who are willing and often best placed to protect and sustainably use their forest resources. If you ask for money to protect forests, however, you have to show you are capable of doing so. And that is clearly not the case today. President Weah’s Government is not only failing to control the rampant illegal logging in Liberia but is undermining the very systems in place to control this.
We therefore call upon the World Bank, the International Monetary Fund (IMF), the US and European donors to demand proof that the Government of Liberia is serious in addressing illegal logging, protecting Liberia’s forests, and ensuring communities benefit from their forests.
We call upon the Government of Liberia:
- to ensure all timber exports go through the LiberTrace traceability system, and to close down all existing routes for laundering illegally sourced timber.
- to publish the official investigation report by the Ministry of Justice into the Renaissance case and implement its recommendations and follow the law.
- to ensure the communities get the $ 6.2 million (USD) still outstanding.
- to refrain from creating protected areas against the wishes of communities and instead support the creation of a network of community conserved areas.
- ARA, Germany – Wolfgang Kuhlmann
- Biofuelwatch UK/US – Almuth Ernsting
- Blue Dalian, China – Sun Li
- Both Ends, the Netherlands – Paul Wolvekamp
- Dogwood Alliance, US – Scot Quaranda
- Earthsight, UK – Sam Lawson
- Environmental Investigation Agency, UK – Faith Doherty
- Environmental Investigation Agency, US – Susanne Breitkopf
- Fern, Brussels – Alexandra Benjamin
- Forest Peoples Programme, UK – Tom Lomax
- Forum Ökologie & Papier, Germany – Evelyn Schönheit
- Forum Umwelt und Entwicklung, Germany – Laszlo Maraz
- Friends of the Earth, Finland – Noora Ojala Friends of the Earth, Netherlands – Danielle van Oijen
- Gesellschaft für Ökologische Forschung, Germany – Sylvia Hamberger
- Global Witness, UK – Veronica Oakeshott
- Leefmilieu, the Netherlands – Maarten Visschers
- Pro REGENWALD, Germany – Hermann Edelman
- Rainforest Foundation, UK – Joe Eisen
- Rettet den Regenwald, Germany – Marianne Klute
- Scholar Tree Alliance, China – Zeng Shengwei
- Snow Alliance, China – Mao Jing