27 June 2006

Liberia: FDA Halts Timber Exportation

The Government of Liberia through the Forestry Development Authority (FDA), which holds the mandate for the conservation, protection and sustainable management of its forest resources, said it welcomes the lifting of sanctions on the Liberia Timber by the United Nations Security Council (UNSC).

On June 20, 2006, the UNSC lifted timber sanctions which were imposed on Liberia during the regime of detained former President Charles Taylor.

The government through FDA has thanked the international community for what it called "kind gesture" demonstrated.

"We also commend the Liberian Chief Executive, Ellen Johnson Sirleaf, for exerting all effort to put in place the necessary mechanism for meeting the conditions, which were prerequisite to the lifting of sanctions," it added.

The FDA said it considers the lifting of the sanctions as a great challenge and opportunity that requires the concerted effort of all Liberians in making sure that those practices that will undermine the effort of the international community are strictly prohibited at all times.

A release issued by the FDA quoted the management as saying that predicated upon the above, it has instructed that and informed Liberians that no body is allowed to produce logs for export since in fact no one presently owns a concession in Liberia.

"The FDA is now more vigilant than ever before to make sure that no export permit will be signed by anyone from FDA to any individual or company to export round logs or sawn timber until further order," it said.

Therefore anyone caught exporting logs or sawn timber will be considered as a violator of Executive Order #1 and shall face the full weight of the laws of Liberia relative to such violation.

However the FDA, through the Forest Monitoring Committee (FRAMC), is planning to submit a draft bill to the National Legislature on the exportation of logs and sawn timber from Liberia.

The FDA noted that the general public is therefore advised to take note and govern themselves accordingly.

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