Target: President of Liberia, Ellen Johnson Sirleaf
Goal: Prevent illegal logging through improved federal legislation and enforcement measures
Home to many diverse plants, animals and insects, Liberia’s forests are a part of the larger Upper Guinean Forest ecosystem. These forests not only provide shelter to thousands of species of flora and fauna, but they also account for 60 percent of the Liberia’s foreign exchange earnings, which enables hundreds of thousands of people to rely on them for their livelihood. Now, the head of Liberia’s Forestry Development Authority, Moses Wogbeh, is under investigation for the illegal sale of land use permits to commercial loggers.
President Ellen Johnson Sirleaf has suspended his position but it is imperative that more action be taken. Liberia’s forests and inhabitants need to be assured that deals such as these never be made again. The FDA of Liberia needs a leader who will put the best interests of the land ahead of economic gain. When an authority figure in charge of an already threatened ecosytem makes illicit deals, handing over a quarter of all of Liberian forests to foreign logging companies, it is time for a change. It would be in Liberia’s favor to bring together a group of people for the FDA who are willing to start making these changes.
Sustainable environment regulations and protection rights for the nation’s vast forests would better safeguard against illegal logging and the sale of private land permits to foreign sectors. So many animals and people depend on these forests, whether it is for food or the profit they gain locally. Large corporations coming in to deforest and plunder the land only make internal conflicts worse within the country and leave lasting impacts on both the environment and stability of Liberia.
Act now and sign this petition to demand that Liberia’s president develop better forestry laws and start protecting the forests before they disappear.
Dear President Ellen Johnson Sirleaf,
First of all, thank you for starting to take action by suspending the head of Liberia’s Forestry Development Authority, Moses Wogbeh. His issuing of private use permits for the past two and a half years has threatened the unique ecosystem that is Liberia’s forests. However, I urge you to take even greater action and implement a committee into the FDA that will put the interests of the forests, flora, fauna and the nation’s people above the interests of big business and foreign logging companies.
One fourth of Liberia’s forests were granted to these foreign logging companies, which, if not stopped, would turn a pristine forest into a vast dirt lot. The biodiversity of these wooded areas will be depleted if efforts are not made to enact strict regulations and protection rights. Plants and animals are not the only ones being negatively impacted. Local communities would be displaced and would receive little to no benefit if these companies were to come in and deforest their land.
I support the push for sustainable requirements of logging businesses and urge you start making changes within Liberia’s Forestry Development Authority immediately.
[Your Name Here]
Photo Credit: Eric Jones via geograph