Supporting the Implementation of Liberia's Voluntary Partnership Agreement


DAI in cooperation with DFS financed by the EUROPEAN UNION

In May 2011, the European Union and the Government of Liberia concluded a Voluntary Partnership Agreement (VPA) under the European Union’s Forest Law Enforcement, Governance, and Trade (FLEGT) Action Plan towards tackling illegal logging and associated trade. The agreement commits the Liberian Government to develop and implement systems to ensure that the timber exported to the European Union come from legal sources. The VPA also commits Liberia to reform its governance to secure the long-term sustainability of Liberia’s forest sector while contributing to national economic development. In 2013 the former U.K. Department for International Development (now called Foreign, Commonwealth & Development Office) and the European Union established the VPA Support Unit (co-financing arrangement between EU and DFID by a total of approximately EUR 20 million) to provide Liberia with technical assistance and guidance to meet its VPA obligations.

Currently DAI and DFS manage the second phase of the Support Unit ‘Long Term Technical Assistance to Implement the Voluntary Partnership Agreement (VPA) in Liberia’, building the capacity of key government counterparts such as the Liberian Forestry Development Authority (FDA), Ministry of Labour (MoL) and Environment Protection Agency (EPD) to effectively implement VPA to contribute to the development of Liberia’s forest sector through strengthening of overall forest governance with the help of existing regulations and sustainably managing Liberia’s forestry resources by increasing the value of traded timber and wood products. This second phase of EU assistance emphasises the trade aspects of the program. It aims for Liberia to develop its capacity to issue FLEGT Licenses to help increase international trade with higher paying markets like the European Union and others. For this to happen, completing the building of systems and procedures and putting these into operation is needed, so that a Legality Assurance System is fully in place in Liberia. Private operators and community forest owners can then be encouraged to obtain FLEGT Licenses and benefit from added-value exports to premium markets. The FDA and Government of Liberia are already increasingly taking over responsibilities for managing and financing the VPA implementation. Further key players in this project are Ministry of Justice (MoJ), Ministry of Finance and Development Planning (MoFDP), the Liberia Revenue Authority (LRA), among others.


The objetive of this second phase of the VPA-Support Unit is to contribute to the development of Liberia’s forest sector so that it plays a key role in the country’s sustainable socio-economic development, poverty reduction and economic growth, and reducing risk of civil conflict through improvements in forest governance and sustainable forest management.

Results and outputs

Result Area 1: The FDA and Government of Liberia, as well as the main VPA stakeholders have the capacity to implement the VPA in accordance with national laws framed in the VPA

Output 1.1: Technical Assistance Plan
Output 1.2: Management of Corrective Actions
Output 1.3: Resource plan
Output 1.4: Business Case for VPA
Output 1.5: VPA Management Options
Output 1.6: Forest Management Plans and Elements for long-term sustainability of forest operations

Result Area 2: The legality matrix that underpins the VPA is complete

Output 2.1: Legality matrix complete
Output 2.2: Assistance to FDA in Inspections
Output 2.3: Assistance to FDA in Enforcement

Result Area 3: VPA implementation is extended to community forestry and informal timber operations

Output 3.1: Legality verification for CFMAs
Output 3.2: Regulation of domestic timber – Impact and feasibility assessment
Output 3.3: Assistance to FDA in VPA Outreach in Coordination with DFID Programmes

Results Area 4: The Legality Verification Department and the Liberian Licensing Department established and operational

Output 4.1: Institutional arrangements
Output 4.2: Assistance to FDA in full Handover of LVD Functions
Output 4.3: Assistance to FDA in Establishing LLD Functions

Result Area 5: VPA governance arrangements and the monitoring and reporting of results are effective, inclusive and transparent

Output 5.1: VPA Secretariat
Output 5.2: VPA Governance
Output 5.3: Dashboard and Forward Planner
Output 5.4: Reporting



Trainee photo 1
Trainees post for photo after VPA-SU2 training on scaling of logs and inspections.


Trainee photo 2
"Mock inspections" are part of the training programme."