In 2009 the Government of Liberia passed the Community Rights Law (CRL) which was the first law that provided ownership rights to forest communities, and was preceded by the Land Rights Act (2018) that elaborates community rights. The CRL allows communities to benefit from their forest resources by leasing it to third parties for logging and other commercial activities. But rather than communities benefiting, the timber companies seem to be the main beneficiaries.
To strengthen the capacity of a limited number of communities that have a Community Forest Management Agreement – including some that are logging and some that are not, the Foundation for Community Initiative (FCI) and the Sustainable Development Institute (SDI) sought to ensure that these forest communities are well managed in a way that will bring maximum benefits to the community residents, while also setting an example for other communities.
This manual is developed for use to further strengthen the capacities of the targeted forest communities. Information in this manual was composed after a review of the CRL, its revised Regulations (2017) and other previous training materials. Wherever necessary, we reference specific chapters or sections in the CRL and its regulations.