History of community forestry in Liberia Community Forestry

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History of community forestry in Liberia Community Forestry – Module 1. 4 Forestry Training

History of community forestry in Liberia Community Forestry – Module 1. 4 Forestry Training Institute, Liberia

Learning Objectives Students will be able to … • Compare and contrast the history

Learning Objectives Students will be able to … • Compare and contrast the history of community forestry in Liberia with that of other countries. • Identify the gaps in Liberia’s community forestry policies that need to be addressed. • Forestry as practiced in Liberia, including the 3 C approach and reforms in the forest sector (The National Forest Reform Law of 2006, the CRL and its regulations, etc. )

Key Concepts and Issues – Customary rights – Communal land title – The 3

Key Concepts and Issues – Customary rights – Communal land title – The 3 Cs in Liberia’s forestry – Community, Conservation, Commercial – Community forestry policies and legislation

Evolution of Community Forestry in Liberia • The forestry sector and the legislation guiding

Evolution of Community Forestry in Liberia • The forestry sector and the legislation guiding it have evolved from viewing forests primarily as extractable commodity to recognizing the critical roles these resources can play in the sustainable development of Liberia.

Objectives of Liberia’s National Forestry Policy

Objectives of Liberia’s National Forestry Policy

Legal Basis for Community Forestry in Liberia • Article 7 of Chapter II of

Legal Basis for Community Forestry in Liberia • Article 7 of Chapter II of the Liberian Constitution • 1953: Act creating the Bureau of Forests and Wildlife conservation and the Act for the Conservation of the Forests of the Republic of Liberia • 1976: Act Creating the Forestry Development Authority • 2000: New National Forestry Law • All forest resources are property of the Republic • Recognizes the establishment of Communal Forests • No action on establishment of Communal Forests

National Forestry Policy (2006) • Enunciated the Three Cs (Commercial, Community, and Conservation) approach

National Forestry Policy (2006) • Enunciated the Three Cs (Commercial, Community, and Conservation) approach to sustainable forest management • Emphasized the following: – Transparency and Accountability – Decentralization of forestry administration – Involvement and participation of local communities in decision-making process – Sustainable forest management – Equitable sharing of benefits accrued from the forest sector • Established a Conservation Department within the Forestry Development Authority • Established a Community-Base Forest Resource Management (CBFRM) Division within the Conservation Department

Legal, Economic, and Institutional Contexts • The government of Liberia has committed to optimal

Legal, Economic, and Institutional Contexts • The government of Liberia has committed to optimal use of forest resources as articulated in the national forest strategy and the forest reform law. • National Forestry Sector Reform Law of 2006. This law stipulates that forests should be managed for three purposes: for commercial, conservation, and community (the 3 Cs). • The 2006 National Forest Reform Law and National Forest Strategy call for a more balanced and integrated development of Liberia’s forests for commercial, community, and conservation uses. This is a deviation from the traditional focus in the forest sector, which was largely limited to exploiting the forests’ commercial potential. • Community forestry is the least understood and least developed of the 3 Cs. Different stakeholders have different interpretations of the 3 Cs as they are defined in the reform law.

Reforms in the Forest Sector • Reforms undertaken since 2006 have included: organizational changes,

Reforms in the Forest Sector • Reforms undertaken since 2006 have included: organizational changes, financial reforms, and new governance measures. The new forestry regime in Liberia comprises the following key elements: – The National Forest Reform Law (NFRL), passed in September 2006 – The 10 core regulations, covering Public Participation, Forest Land Use Planning, Prequalification, Public Tender of Contracts, Pre-felling Requirements, Benefit Sharing, Forest Charges, Chain of Custody, Penalties, and Rights of Private Land Owners (approved September 2007) – Liberian Forestry Policy and Implementation Strategy (2006) – National Forest Management Strategy (June 2007) – Community Rights to Forest Lands Law (2009) – Wildlife Law

Community Rights Law The objective of the Community Rights Law (2009) is to empower

Community Rights Law The objective of the Community Rights Law (2009) is to empower communities to fully engage in sustainable management of the forests of Liberia by creating a legal framework that defines and supports community rights in the management and use of forest resources.

Community Rights Law • This law was mandated in the Forestry Reform Law of

Community Rights Law • This law was mandated in the Forestry Reform Law of 2006, which required the drafting of “a comprehensive law governing community rights with respect to Forest Lands” (Section 10. 1 c). • The CRL provides clarity on the following issues: – The rights of communities with respect to ownership, occupation, and use of customary forest lands and how those rights relate to the government—and specifically to the FDA. – How communities can manage forest land under clear rules and obligations. – How forest-related activities are to be undertaken so as not to jeopardize or interfere with community rights to forest land. – What conflict resolution mechanisms are available to resolve disputes on community rights to forest lands.

Gaps in Community Forestry Enforcement Capacity • The FDA lacks the infrastructural and logistical

Gaps in Community Forestry Enforcement Capacity • The FDA lacks the infrastructural and logistical support to properly enforce and implement the laws and regulation pertaining to community forest management. • The FDA has limited capacity in the area of revenue collection, particularly in areas such as the collection of fines for noncompliance with forest regulations.

Gaps in Community Forestry The need for coordination within and among government agencies •

Gaps in Community Forestry The need for coordination within and among government agencies • Coordination faces numerous challenges in the current institutional context. Inter-sectoral programs are a low priority in Liberia, with each sector ministry struggling to identify and deliver on its own mandate. • There has been some interaction on a bilateral basis between ministries to address specific areas of concern, such as mining in protected areas (Mining and Forestry), timber exports (Ports and Forestry), and agricultural marketing (Agriculture and Roads). These, however, do not constitute a programmatic approach. • More systematic coordination among the FDA, the EPA of Liberia, the Ministry of Agriculture (Mo. A), and the Ministry of Lands, Mines, and Energy (MLME) is crucial to ensuring sustainable resource use and the minimization of environmental impacts. • Within the FDA there is a need for improved coordination among the three departments, to enable the agency to deliver on an integrated 3 Cs approach in the forest sector.

Gaps in Community Forestry Lack of clarity in land tenure • The most pressing

Gaps in Community Forestry Lack of clarity in land tenure • The most pressing issue affecting all land use in Liberia is the lack of legal clarity on property ownership and use rights. Security of land tenure in today’s Liberia is weak to nonexistent. • Rights of access to and use of natural resources, including land, minerals, forests, and water, are clouded in a state of tenure insecurity, vague and ambiguous legislation, conflicting and competing tenure arrangements, and persistent clashes involving customary and statutory rights over the management, authority, and control of these resources.

Gaps in Community Forestry Overlapping land uses • There is overlapping of mining areas

Gaps in Community Forestry Overlapping land uses • There is overlapping of mining areas (areas with mineral deposits) with large parts of the protected area/forest reserve network. The potential exploitation of these mineral deposits could significantly affect biodiversity and forest cover. The forest degradation could be locally extensive and permanent. • Common impacts from mining stem from indiscriminate removal of vegetation, which in turn alters the regeneration potential of forests and the availability of food and shelter for wildlife. • Other impacts of concern include habitat fragmentation and increased bush meat consumption, siltation of dams and rivers, degradation of lands from settlement patterns of miners, and ground and surface water pollution (e. g. , acidic mine drainage and high metal concentrations in rivers), resulting in an impoverished aquatic environment.

Gaps in Community Forestry Limited reforestation/restoration of logged areas • The Forest Policy makes

Gaps in Community Forestry Limited reforestation/restoration of logged areas • The Forest Policy makes provisions for reforestation and plantation development. Reforestation can provide a new source of wood for the processing industry and other forest products (e. g. , fuel, building poles, and non-wood forest products). • In areas degraded by unsustainable logging, reforestation or forestoration can reduce the pressure on natural forests and provide new opportunities for income generation by expanding the area of forest plantations. • However, there has been limited reforestation and the success of public sector tree planting has been disappointing due to poor sitespecies selection and inadequate management, resulting in poor yields and low economic returns.