Norway Deal to Protect Liberian Forests

Norway has inked a deal to help protect Liberian forests from the tide of illegal and irresponsible cutting that takes place in that country.  Liberia has suffered through a dire economic situation since the end of its 14 year civil war in 2003.  With most of the country living on less than $1.25 per day, the government has made decisions for short term economic gain in order to keep its people fed.  This latest devleopment represents a more long-term focus on the protection and preservation of its natural resources.

Ecuador attempted a similar strategy in 2013 when they faced the choice of whether or not to drill for oil in Yasuni National Park.  However, they begin with a much more ambitious goal of raising $3.6 billion, which they sought in the form of donations from the international community.  This in exchange for not drilling for oil in parts of the Amazon rain forest.  However, after more than  year of fundraising, the only had commitments for $13 million and four months ago lifted a moratorium granting a drilling permit to Petroamazonas to develop oil reserves there.

The terms of the deal are not made clear in the article, but $150 million sounds low in exchange for never logging again.  The forests are a precious natural resource, and when harvested responsibly, they are are a renewable resource.  William & Mary Lumber Company have never sourced lumber from Liberia because of inadequate protections and forestry practices.  Our commitment to sustainable forestry is one of our guiding principles, and we applaud this effort to protect Liberian forests.

Comments are closed.