Liberia - Close Logging Loophole

  • by: Judith B.
  • target: Ellen Johnson Sirleaf, President of Liberia

Liberia is the most densely forested country in West Africa and to protect this vital natural resource it introduced sustainability laws years ago. 

However, logging companies are buying up vast stretches of privately-owned land using a convenient loophole in the form of "Private Use Permits", which bypass laws on scale and sustainability. In fact, over a quarter of Liberia has been sold to logging companies in the last two years alone.  The companies plan to clear the land and rake in the profits, leaving those who depend on the forests with nothing.

Local people will see almost none of the money generated - and neither will the government -, Liberia's land will be ruined and an important carbon reservoir that contains great biodiversity will be lost. 

Ask the Liberian government to put an immediate stop to the wholesale auction of the country's natural resources.  

We the undersigned ask that you close the loophole of "Private Use Permits", which allow logging companies to exploit Liberia’s forests practically how they please, with little regard for existing legislation on sustainability.

The only parties who will benefit from this in any significant way are the logging companies. Deforestation on this scale not only destroys the forests themselves, and so the livelihoods of those who depend upon them, it leaves the soil of little use for anything else. Private companies should not be allowed to ransack Liberia’s natural resources in this unsustainable way. 

We understand that an investigation into this is underway but things are moving too fast to wait. Please demonstrate your responsibility to Liberia's people and environment by closing this loophole as a matter of urgency.

Thank you for your attention

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