30 September 2014
Liberia agrees to stop cutting down its trees in return for Norwegian development aid
Liberia is to become the first nation in Africa to completely stop cutting down its trees in return for development aid. Norway will pay Liberia USD 150m to stop deforestation by 2020.
Liberia is home to a significant part of West Africa’s remaining rainforest. The forests also comprise the last remaining viable populations of species including western chimpanzees, forest elephants and leopards.
In 2012, President Ellen Johnson Sirleaf attracted international criticism when she handed out licences to companies to cut down 58 per cent of all the primary rainforest left in the country.
Under the terms of the agreement, Norway will help Liberia to build up the capacity to monitor and police the forests. Liberia will refrain from issuing any new logging concessions until all existing ones have been reviewed by an independent body. It agrees to place 30 per cent or more of its forest estate under protected area status by 2020.