Poor enforcement of Forestry Laws Paralyzes Forestry Industry

Across Liberia forestry operations are at a standstill as logging companies and small scale loggers square off over their right to operate. At the heart of the problem is poor implementation of regulations governing the industry. The logging companies are licensed by the national authorities, but local authorities are issuing permits to small scale loggers….

Women Farmers Hardest Hit by COVID-19

Coronavirus infections may have slowed but the economic fallout of the pandemic is still hurting millions of Liberians. Liberia’s economy has been shrinking since 2017. This was supposed to be the year the economy rebounded as gold and iron ore prices have risen. But for many, travel restrictions imposed to fight Covid-19 have devastated them….

Forestry Industry Paralysed by Poor Regulation

NEEZWEIN, River Cess — A power struggle is playing out here deep in the forest and the stakes for the local people are high. Logging companies with concession agreements that include thousands of dollars of benefits for local communities say their work is being hamstrung by informal loggers who disrupt their operations. Informal loggers say they…

Barconnie and Harmonville Community Forest Struggles with Conservation

When the Forest Reform law was passed in 2006, Liberia’s 51 community forests were offered a chance to conserve or commercialize their forests in logging and other deals with companies.44 chose the money. But conservation groups persuaded seven to pursue conservation – protecting their forest resources and promoting biodiversity.It’s not been an easy road. Varney…

Forest Hour

Radio panel on the issuance of exploration license in Blei community forest in Nimba County, northern Liberia by the Ministry of Mines and Energy. Panelists discuss the license, which has some experts say clashes with the Community Rights Law of 2009 with Respect to Forest Lands. The program was sponsored by New Narratives with funding…

Digging in the Past: A New Look at the Customary Land Conflict in Liberia

In 2018, the Land Rights Law of Liberia was passed into law. This was a good hundred years after the government formally declared “perfect, complete and absolute” possession of all lands within the borders of the State, This new law finally gives back to tribal people, the lands of their ancestors. It offers them the protection of…

Grand Bassa Officials Sign Bogus Logging Agreement with ‘Serbian’ Company

Editor’s Note: This story is the first of a two-part series on an illegal logging agreement between Vambo and Marloi townships in Grand Bassa County, and African Trades Entrepreneur Enterprises Incorporated.    VAMBO – Officials of Grand Bassa County have signed an illegal deal with a company to pave a dusty road through two townships in…

GVL Lays Off Nearly 450 Workers

BUTAW, SINOE COUNTY – Four hundred and forty-three workers have been laid off at Golden Veroleum Liberia, more than 10 percent of its workforce, the company said on Saturday. “[They are] due to the downturn of the global economy due to the coronavirus and the constant drop in the price of oil palm on the world…

More Cases of Multiple Sales of Land Despite Law

PIPELINE – In 2009,Jimmy Dasaw’s plan to expand Kiddies College was underway when he purchased three acres of land for US$2,600 in Pipeline, Paynesville from Johnny Hill, the administrator of Tarsue Gbazue Estate in Johnsonville. That dream for his elementary school eventually turned into nightmare.   Five years after purchasing the land, in 2014, Dasaw found himself…

Communities Use New App to Track Illegal Logging

SALAYEA, Lofa County – Rural towns and villages are now using ForestLink, a new app, to track illicit forest operations and deforestation across Liberia, including illegal logging and mining, and poaching in their communities. The tool also makes it possible for them to store and share information on mobile phones in a short period of time from…

Nimba Clans Square Off Over Customary Land Title Claims

TAPPITA DISTRICT, Nimba County – This disarmingly peaceful forest area in Liberia’s far north Tappita District has been the scene of conflict of one form or another for decades. But since 2014 it had enjoyed some peace as two clans here, supported by a US-backed project known by the acronym PROSPER, agreed on a boundary line…

Land Title Authorities Overwhelmed By Disputes

GBONYEA, Bong County – Emmanuel Tokpah always wanted a home of his own. The 27-year-old bike rider had saved enough money to begin construction on a house in this village. But his dreams were shattered in July 2016 when a group of men from neighboring Gbonata came and ordered him to stop work.  The men claimed…

River Cess the Latest Flashpoint in Clashing Laws over Land

VONDEH TOWN, River Cess – The people of this area celebrated in 2019 when a forestry company began operations here. The five-year Social Agreement signed with the company, African Wood and Lumber, an Italian-owned company, was supposed to deliver the community US$5,000 each year in scholarship funds, US$15,000 in land rental fees, two feeder roads,…

Bea Mountain Shifting to Underground Mining amid Environmental Concerns

KINJOR, GRAND CAPE COUNTY – Musu Konneh recalls she became speechless for several minutes when she heard that Bea Mountain Mining Corporation intends to start underground mining for gold by 2022 in a stakeholder consultation conducted by the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA). Konneh’s clan was one of 322 families who relocated from their ancestral villages…