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Small scale loggers celebrate recognition of rights by Liberian Government
The RRI coalition in Liberia is pleased to share an important victory for its team, following several years of hard work by RRI Collaborator Green Advocates and the coalition members on behalf of Liberia’s pit-sawyers (small scale loggers).
The Liberian Forestry Development Authority (FDA) has just adopted regulations to legally recognize pit-sawyers and their right to operate. The pit-sawyers are a promising model for local, small-scale forestry in Liberia, and the preamble to the Regulations acknowledges this by stating, “…chain sawing activities have significant social contributions and also constitute some critical source of livelihood for many persons, especially vulnerable, unemployed individuals and poor communities.”
Francis K. Colee, Program Coordinator for Green Advocates said, “We still have some challenges in terms of overall content and implementation. Together we can work to address the gaps, but from the point of “illegality and exclusion”, yesterday with the pit-sawyers, to “legality and inclusion”, this is progress, an elbow space, and a window of opportunity to consolidate the gains on pit-sawing in Liberia.”
Other key language in the Regulations recognized that “the Government of Liberia recognizes the need to formally recognize and regulate chain sawing in Liberia as a means of maximizing the socio-economic benefits of chain sawing while addressing/mitigating its negative ecological and environmental impacts…”.
While the coalition’s work is not yet done—the implementation of the Regulations has yet to be undertaken—this recognition of pit-sawyers’ rights is a remarkable sign of progress in the country. As Colee said, “This is a small-step for pit-sawyers but a giant leap for forest tenure reform in favor of small-scale enterprises in Liberia.”
Read the FDA Regulations.
Posted By David Robeck at 12:00pm on May 17, 2012
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