With new government in place, Liberia meets EU to review VPA implementation

The Joint Implementation Committee overseeing the EU-Liberia Voluntary Partnership Agreement (VPA) on forest law enforcement, governance and trade has met for the first time since Liberia’s new government — including new Forestry Development Authority (FDA) Managing Director C. Mike Doryen — took office earlier this year.

C. Mike Doryen (FDA), Harrison Karnwea (FDA) and Hélène Cavé (EU). by FLEGT Facilitation office

The meeting took place in Monrovia on 13-14 June 2018. It provided an opportunity for Liberia’s new government representatives to be briefed on the state of play of the VPA and for the EU and Liberia to relaunch their formal talks on the VPA’s implementation. On 10 July, representatives of the EU and Liberia signed the public summary (aide-memoire) of the meeting. 

The VPA aims to improve forest governance, address illegal logging and promote trade in verified legal timber products. As part of its VPA commitments, Liberia is developing a system to verify the legality of its timber products from forest to point of export. 

The Joint Implementation Committee discussed progress made in implementing the system and improving the capacities of government agencies, the private sector, civil society and communities. There was also an open session for stakeholders to raise other issues.

Several partners including the United Kingdom Department for International Development (DFID), United States Agency for International Development (USAID), and the World Bank were invited to attend the meeting, which was co-chaired by Hélène Cavé, the EU Ambassador to Liberia, and Harrison Karnwea, the Chairman of the FDA Board of Directors. 

Participating stakeholders from Liberia included representatives of nine ministries and agencies of the Liberian Government, civil society organisations, the Liberia Timber Association and the National Union of Community Forestry Development Committees.

 

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