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Prospects for Community Forestry in Liberia: Implementing the National Forest Policy

Research reports

Liberia’s new National Forestry Policy is an important document which makes clear that a major reorientation of the forestry sector will be required if it is to successfully address the challenges facing the country. These challenges concern the need both to substantially improve forest governance and to ensure that the sector contributes much more
effectively than hitherto to the alleviation of poverty. The Policy recognises that the role of government will have to change to meet the demand for greater public participation in the sector.
This paper seeks to map out a course for the development of community involvement in forest management in Liberia which is consistent with the Policy’s underlying preoccupations and with the 2006 National Forestry Reform Law. It draws on recent experience in Africa and elsewhere, particularly in areas where timber values are high and there is a powerful forest industry, and applies this to the context of Liberia, where upland rice production under shifting cultivation and high dependence on wild animal protein form the bedrock of the rural economy.

David Brown