This assignment aimed to contribute to the implementation of the Liberia Voluntary Partnership Agreement (VPA) with a specific focus on the legality assurance system (LAS) related measures in 2011-2012.
The key objectives were, in cooperation with the Liberian stakeholders, to make necessary preparations for establishing and operating two new Forestry Development Authority (FDA) units called i) Liberia Verification Department (LVD), that will be responsible for the legality verification functions and the Chain of Custody System (CoCS), and ii) Liberia Licensing Department (LLD), that will issue FLEGT licenses to the export consignments; draft procedures and plan data management systems of the LAS; assist in integrating in the LAS all timber products identified in the VPA Annex I and timber sources as identified in the VPA Annex II; and support the relevant regulatory reforms.
The outputs achieved consist of descriptions of institutional structures of FDA and various elements of the LAS, draft procedures for an operational LAS, terms of references, tender documents, cost estimates, work plans, workshops and administrative progress reports. LTS’ experts worked to ensure that there are a solid platform and state of preparedness for practical implementation of the LAS, in particular for an External Service Provider (ESP) that has been contracted on a Build, Operate and Transfer (BOT) basis to run the LVD on behalf of the FDA from 2013 onwards. It is expected that the LLD operations will be set up by (and within) the FDA with support of a technical advisor arranged through the ESP or another body. LTS also provided support for Liberian stakeholders to undertake the following activities:
- Establishment of institutional structures for LAS implementation
- Legality verification
- Development of a chain of custody system
- FLEGT Licensing