The Forestry Development Authority (FDA) is the national authority responsible for the sustainable management and conservation of Liberia’s forest resources, which includes management of the forest policy, the forest legislative framework and the enforcement of forest laws. This mandate was further strengthened through the National Resource Law of 1979. FDA governance relies on a Managing Director and a Board of Directors appointed by the Liberia’s President. Main FDA departments: Commercial, Community, Conservation, Legality Verification, and R&D Departments. Main FDA divisions: Administration & Finance, Law Enforcement, and Public Affairs Divisions. FDA units include the REDD+ implementing and Strategic Planning Units.
The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) is responsible to supervise, monitor and coordinate all activities that impact the environment (soils, water, biodiversity, land uses), also overseeing conservation areas, and coordinating e.g. wildlife issues, mainly through an Environmental & Social Impact Assessment (ESIA).
Other ministries involved include: Finance & Development Planning (MFDP) and its Liberia Revenue Authority (LRA) that covers Tax and Customs, Agriculture (MoA), Commerce and Industry (MoCI), Justice (MoJ), and Labour (MoL).
The framework for assessing legality of forestry operations, timber processing and trade in Liberia that has been retained as part of the VPA between Liberia and the EU is the Legality matrix.
The 2006 National Forestry Reform Law (NFRL 2006) is the current legal instrument that guides the management of forest resources in Liberia. It is based on the “3Cs” approach: Commercial, Community and Conservation forestry.
Other important laws and regulations include:
- FDA Ten Core Regulations 101-07 to 110-07 (2007)
- Guidelines for Forest Management Planning in Liberia’ (2009)
- Community Rights Law (CRL) (2009)
- LVD Manual of Procedures (2016)
- Code of Forest Harvesting Practices (CFHP) (amended in 2017)
- Community Rights Regulations (amended in 2017)
- Abandoned Logs, Timber and Timber Products (2017)
- Third Party Access to Forest Resource License Areas (2017)
- Confiscated Logs, Timber and Timber Products (2017)
- Sustainable Wood-based Biomass Energy Production and Marketing in Liberia (2017)
Other regulations and guidelines that are in the process of being developed or amended and approved (and eventually added to a revised Legality matrix) include:
- Import Logs, Timber and Timber Products
- Transit Logs, Timber and Timber Products
- Guidelines for Plantation Forests
- Community Rights Regulations
- Chainsaw Milling Regulation, and Charcoal Regulation
- Regulations on Timber Processing, Penalties, Access to Timber Resource Wastes/Residues, EIA, Fiscal Policy and Bid Premium Payments, Complaints, etc.