Wasted Wealth: Liberia and the negative impact of logging

deforestation-in-africa-1280x640Industrial or commercial logging poses the gravest threat to the Liberian rainforest; the largest remaining forest blocks in the Upper Guinea Forest region. Although other factors contribute to the problem of deforestation in Liberia, logging companies remain the single most destructive force and are responsible for the larger percentage of deforestation.

In the last decade, logging companies led intensified their operations so much so that they now represent the strongest threat to the Liberian forest. Logging operations have reached unprecedented levels while forest crimes are being committed on a scale probably never seen in Liberia’s history.

Some forest areas set aside by previous governments for conservation or scientific studies have been granted as logging concessions. For example, 284,000 acres of forest in Sinoe County set aside by the Liberian government in the 1980’s for scientific research and forestry studies for the University of Liberia was taken over logging concessions.

The Oriental Timber Company (OTC) in Liberia is symbolic of what is wrong with the Liberian logging industry. From Grand Bassa through Rivercess to Sinoe County, the company spearheads the destruction of the forest. The company has cleared approximately a thousand acres of forest to establish several dozen logging camps and log ponds since its arrival. Several dozen logging roads, of absolutely no value to local people when the company moves out, have already severely fragmented the forest.

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SOURCE: Global African News Online

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