MONROVIA- Golden Veroleum Liberia strongly rejects the suggestion that it had applied for “a permit to allow logging for export in its Concession Area” as suggested in the Front Page Africa article of 11 July 2016titled “Liberia’s Forest in Danger – International conservationists Alarm”.
At no stage has GVL sought, or proposed, to deforest agreed forest conservation areas for oil palm development. It has stated on several occasions that it will never sell timber from within its concession area for profit. GVL made a request to the Forestry Development Authority (FDA) on behalf of one community to permit the community to collect logs from an area that had already been agreed for development for oil palm.
GVL did this so that, if it is legally possible, the community might extract maximum value from its own land before oil palm development began. The development area had been identified in accordance with strict, internationally agreed guidelines to define what high carbon stock forest is and what may be developed.
From the outset, GVL made it clear that it needed full guidance from the FDA on what was legally permissible. Throughout this process, it has shared correspondence between GVL, the FDA, the concerned community and the Sustainable Development Institute (SDI) freely and openly to ensure that it was working completely in accordance with Liberian law and its own No Deforestation policy.
It has repeatedly asked the FDA and SDI for guidance on what is legally permissible in order to help the community maximum value from its land. Based on feedback from the FDA following our request for clarity, GVL has advised the community that they will not be able to extract timber for their own business purposes.GVL wishes to reiterate that it has been open and transparent from the outset in this matter and has fully complied with the advice and requests it has received from FDA throughout. GVL has never sought to sell timber for commercial purposes, either in Liberia or for export, and has complied at all times with its own No Deforestation policy commitments’.