Liberian President Ellen Johnson Sirleaf Issues an Executive Order Placing a Temporary Moratorium on Logging Activities
Liberian President Ellen Johnson Sirleaf at the weekend issued an executive order placing a temporary moratorium on logging activities in the country.
According to a presidential mansion press statement issued here at the weekend, Executive Order 44 which aims to protect Liberia’s forests, has also accordingly suspended the issuance of Private Use Permits(PUPs) and activities involving or related to the felling or export of logs under any PUPs granted, authorized or approved by the Forestry Development Authority.
The moratorium, according to the statement, applies to all individuals, communities, groups, and associations who are holders of PUPs, as well as all logging activities, whether natural or juridical.
The Executive Order, is accordingly requesting all relevant ministries and agencies of government to take appropriate actions to remedy the situation through criminal prosecutions, review of the relevant legal and regulatory framework, validation of deeds, audit of the Forestry Development Authority, public sensitization, and such other necessary measures.
“This moratorium shall remain in effect until otherwise lifted,” the Executive Order is quoted as saying.
Citing the reasons for declaring the moratorium, President Sirleaf states, in the Executive Order, that “while the forests are part of Liberia’s natural heritage that exist for the benefit of its people, there had been allegations of misrepresentations and abuses in implementing the National Forestry Reform Law of 2006, in which provision is made for PUPs which allow landowners who have forest resources on their land to apply for such permits.”
The issuance of Executive Order 44 follows the review of a report by a Special Independent Investigating Body (SIIB) constituted in August last year to conduct a comprehensive review of the issuance of PUPs. The report issued by the Special Independent Investigating Body revealed that there have been massive fraud, misrepresentations, abuses and violations of the National Forestry Reform Law in the issuance of PUPs to the extent that this inter-generational asset has been severely threatened.
The Executive Order states that “because the mismanagement of the PUPs poses a threat to the efficient, effective, and sustainable management of the country’s forests, it is imperative to impose a moratorium to protect the national interest.”
Liberia has more than 45 per cent of forest cover in the West African sub-region, but the nation’s forests have been threatened due to abuse.
Source African Press Agency
African News from NetNewsPublisher.com