A quarter of Liberia handed to loggers, report
posted Sep 4 2012 8:07AM
MONROVIA, Liberia (AP) - London-based watchdog group Global Witness and two others say one-quarter of Liberia's landmass has been handed to logging companies in shady deals, often using illegal logging permits.
The report published Tuesday said international logging companies are relying on "Private Use Permits," which were designed for use by private landowners to allow them to cut trees on their own property. Instead they are being used by major companies and now cover 40 percent of the country's forests.
Companies holding them are not required to log sustainably, and pay little compensation to the government for the right to export the timber.
Over the weekend, Liberian President Ellen Johnson Sirleaf suspended Forestry Authority head Moses Wogbeh. Presidential spokesman Jerolinmek Piah said Wogbeh is under investigation.