International Intervention and Post-Conflict Forest Governance

  • Michael D. Beevers


Beevers details actions by international peacebuilders to govern Liberia’s forest resources in the aftermath of the conflict. He explains how the strategies initially focused on securing forests and revenue from timber to ensure that conflicts did not reignite and over time began to concentrate on the “good governance” of timber extraction as a means to spur economic growth and help alleviate poverty. Beevers shows that despite positive outcomes, including new laws and regulations, efforts to reform the forest sector remain problematic and deeply contentious. The reason, Beevers argues, is partially the result of reforms promoted by international peacebuilders that foster competition and conflict, much of it embedded in a history of exploitation and exclusion of natural resources.


  1. Analyst. 2009. Liberia: Global Witness Paralyses Forestry Sector, August 10.Google Scholar
  2. Bannon, Ian, and Paul Collier, eds. 2003. Natural Resources and Violent Conflict. Washington, DC: The World Bank.Google Scholar
  3. Binda, Stephen. 2010. Community Rights Law ‘Secretly’ Altered. Daily Observer, May 24.Google Scholar
  4. Blundell, Arthur. 2003. A New Environment for Liberia: A Road Map for the Forest Sector. Washington, DC: USAID.Google Scholar
  5. Brownell, Alfred. 2006. Protecting Forests in Liberia. Environmental Law Alliance Worldwide Advocate, Autumn 2006/Winter 2007.Google Scholar
  6. Collier, Paul. 2007. The Bottom Billion: Why the Poorest Countries Are Failing and What Can Be Done About It. Oxford: Oxford University Press.Google Scholar
  7. Collier, Paul, and Anthony J. Venables. 2011. Plundered Nations? Successes and Failures in Natural Resource Extraction. New York: Palgrave Macmillan.Google Scholar
  8. Cook, Nicolas. 2009. Liberia’s Post-War Recovery: Key Issues and Developments. Congressional Research Service Report 7-5700, RL33185.
  9. De Wit, Paul, and Caleb Stevens. 2014. 100 Years of Community Land Rights in Liberia: Lessons Learned for the Future. Paper Prepared for World Bank Conference on Land and Poverty, Washington, DC, March 24–27.Google Scholar
  10. Dunn, D. Elwood, and S. Byron Tarr. 1988. Liberia: A National Policy in Transition. Metuchen, NJ: Scarecrow Press.Google Scholar
  11. Dwan, Renata, and Laura Bailey. 2006. Liberia’s Governance and Economic Management Assistance Programme. World Bank’s Fragile States Group. Washington, DC: World Bank.Google Scholar
  12. EC (European Commission). 2005. Organizational Systems and Financial Audit of Liberia.Google Scholar
  13. EU/FLEGT (European Union Forest Law Enforcement Governance and Trade Facility). 2014. Voluntary Partnership Agreement between the European Union and the Republic of Liberia, October 20.Google Scholar
  14. FCRC (Forest Concession Review Committee). 2005. Forest Concession Review: Phase III. Report of the Forest Concession Review Committee, May 31.Google Scholar
  15. FDA (Forest Development Authority). 2007. Forest Development Authority Annual Report. Monrovia: Government of Liberia.Google Scholar
  16. Global Witness. 2004. Liberia: Back to the Future. London: Global Witness.Google Scholar
  17. ———. 2006. Cautiously Optimistic: The Case for Maintaining Sanctions in Liberia. Briefing Document, London.Google Scholar
  18. ———. 2009. Liberia Poised to Hand Forests to Timber Pirates. Briefing Document, July 15.Google Scholar
  19. ———. 2010. Liberian President Ellen Johnson Sirleaf Must Get Forest and Mining Reforms Back on Track. Press Release, May 21.Google Scholar
  20. ———. 2012. Signing Their Lives Away: Liberia’s Private Use Permits and the Destruction of Community-Owned Rainforest. Briefing Document, London.Google Scholar
  21. ———. 2017. Holding the Line. London: Global Witness.Google Scholar
  22. GOL (Government of Liberia). 2006a. 150-Day Action Plan: A Working Document for a New Liberia.Google Scholar
  23. ———. 2006b. Liberia Forest Sector Reform – Executive Order #1.Google Scholar
  24. ———. 2006c. An Act Adopting the National Forestry Reform Law of 2006.Google Scholar
  25. ———. 2006d. National Forestry Policy and Implementation Strategy: Forestry for Communities, Commerce and Conservation.Google Scholar
  26. ———. 2009. Community Rights With Respect to Forest Lands Act.Google Scholar
  27. ———. 2014. Land Rights Policy.Google Scholar
  28. Goodhand, Jonathan. 2003. Enduring Disorder and Persistent Poverty: A Review of Linkages between War and Chronic Poverty. World Development 31 (3): 629–646.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  29. Government of Norway. 2014. Liberia and Norway Launch Climate and Forest Partnership. Press Release, September 23.Google Scholar
  30. Harris, Roland, Joseph Higgins, Joseph Kennedy, Duwana Kingsley, and Louise Riley. 2013. Assessing the Forestry Sector: Community Benefit Sharing and Participation in Forest Governance. Liberia Social Audit 2012/2013. Civil Society Independent Forest Monitors.Google Scholar
  31. ICG (International Crisis Group). 2004. Rebuilding Liberia: Prospects and Perils. Freetown: ICG.Google Scholar
  32. IMF (International Monetary Fund). 2004. Liberia: Report on Post-Conflict Economic Situation and Prospects for January–June 2004. IMF Country Report No. 04/84.Google Scholar
  33. ———. 2008. Liberia: Poverty Reduction Strategy Paper. Washington, DC: IMF.Google Scholar
  34. Keen, David. 1998. The Economic Functions of Violence in Civil Wars. Adelphi Papers 320. Oxford: Oxford University Press.Google Scholar
  35. Klein, Jacques Paul. 2004. Liberia: Statement by SRSG Jacques Paul Klein on DDRR, April 10.Google Scholar
  36. LFI (Liberia Forest Initiative). 2004. Action Plan for Forest Sector Rehabilitation and Reform: Liberia Forest Assessment Mission, June 1.Google Scholar
  37. Lomax, Tom. 2008. Forest Governance in Liberia: An NGO Perspective. Brussels: FERN.Google Scholar
  38. McAlpine, Jan L., Peter A. O’Donohue, and Oliver Pierson. 2006. Liberia: Forests as a Challenge and an Opportunity. International Forestry Review 8 (1): 83–92.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  39. McGovern, Mike. 2008. Liberia: The Risks of Rebuilding a Shadow State. In Building States to Build Peace, ed. Charles Call (with Vanessa Wyeth), 335–364. Boulder: Lynne Rienner.Google Scholar
  40. Menkor, Ishmael F. 2017. Land Issues, Top Source of Conflict in Liberia. Daily Observer, December 20.Google Scholar
  41. Mitchell, Andrew. 2004. The Liberian Forest Sector: May 2004: Draft Report for the Country Visit from May 12th to May 26th. Washington, DC: World Bank.Google Scholar
  42. NGO Coalition of Liberia. 2005. Liberia: An Update on Its Forest Reformation Process (Post Mid-Term Sanctions Review). Monrovia: NGO Coalition of Liberia.Google Scholar
  43. ———. 2008. Reform in Jeopardy: Reflections on the Forest Sector Reform Process in Liberia. Monrovia.Google Scholar
  44. Nichols, Sandra S., and Lisa Goldman. 2011. US Bilateral Assistance to Liberia: Forestry as the Cornerstone to Peacebuilding. In Harnessing Natural Resources for Peacebuilding: Lessons from US and Japanese Assistance, ed. Carl Bruch, Mikiyasu Nakayama, and Ilona Coyle. Washington, DC: Environmental Law Institute.Google Scholar
  45. NTGL (National Transitional Government of Liberia). 2003. Sanctions Committee Report: A Roadmap for Lifting United Nations Sanction on Log and Timber Trade in Liberia: Basic Reforms in the Forestry Industry, December 15.Google Scholar
  46. ———. 2005. Results Focused Transitional Framework.Google Scholar
  47. Sawyer, Amos. 2009. Land Governance Challenges: The Case of Liberia. Presentation at World Bank, March 2.Google Scholar
  48. SDI (Sustainable Development Institute). 2006. Where Are We? Questions and Issues the UN Security Council Should Consider During the June (2006) Review of Timber and Diamond Sanctions on Liberia. SDI Briefing Paper. Monrovia.Google Scholar
  49. ———. 2009. The Hunter’s Whistle: An Opportunity of the Liberian Legislature to Rescue Our Rural Communities from the Plunder of Our Forests, a Renewal of Illegal Logging, Failed Promises of Jobs and Socio-economic Development. Monrovia: SDI.Google Scholar
  50. ———. 2010. Liberia—The Promise Betrayed. Monrovia: SDI.Google Scholar
  51. Siakor, Silas Kpanan’Ayoung. 2011. Forest Governance and the Voluntary Partnership Agreement: Deepening Forest Sector Reform in Liberia. Monrovia: SDI/Friends of the Earth.Google Scholar
  52. SIIB (Special Independent Investigating Body). 2012. Report on the Issuance of Private-Use Permits (PUPs). Monrovia.Google Scholar
  53. Sirleaf, Ellen Johnson. 2006. Liberia: UN Divided Over Sanctions. Illegal Logging, June 13.Google Scholar
  54. Topka, Alaric, Dan Saryee, and Joseph Asunka. 2009. Land Disputes in Liberia: Views from Below. Afrobarometer Briefing Paper 72.Google Scholar
  55. TRC (Truth and Reconciliation Commission of Liberia). 2009. Truth and Reconciliation Commission of Liberia Final Report. Monrovia.Google Scholar
  56. UN News Centre. 2006. Liberia Enacts New Forest Policy with UN Help to Ensure Benefits for All, October 5.Google Scholar
  57. UN Panel of Experts. 2003. Report of the Panel of Experts Appointed Pursuant to Paragraph 25 of Security Council Resolution 1478 (2003), Concerning Liberia. S/2003/937.Google Scholar
  58. ———. 2004. Report of the Panel of Experts Appointed Pursuant to Paragraph 2 of Security Council Resolution 1549, Concerning Liberia. S/2004/955.Google Scholar
  59. ———. 2008. Report of the Panel of Experts Submitted Pursuant to Paragraph 1 of Security Council Resolution 1819 (2008) Concerning Liberia. S/2008/785.Google Scholar
  60. ———. 2009. Final Report of the Panel of Experts on Liberia Submitted Pursuant to Paragraph 4(e) of Security Council Resolution 1854 (2008). S/2009/640.Google Scholar
  61. ———. 2012. Final Report of the Panel of Experts on Liberia Submitted Pursuant to Paragraph 5(f) of Security Council Resolution 2025 (2011). S/2012/901.Google Scholar
  62. UN Press Release. 2004. Security Council Press Statement on Liberia Sanctions Review. SC/8212 AFR/1045, October 8.Google Scholar
  63. UNSC (United Nations Security Council). 2003. Resolution 1521. S/RES/1521.Google Scholar
  64. ———. 2005. Sixth Progress Report to the Secretary-General on the United Nations Mission in Liberia. S/2005/177.Google Scholar
  65. ———. 2006. Resolution 1689. S/RES/1689.Google Scholar
  66. Wily, Liz Alden. 2007. Who Owns the Forest? An Investigation into Forest Ownership and Customary Land Rights in Liberia. Brussels: Sustainable Development Institute.Google Scholar
  67. World Bank. 2008. Forests Sourcebook: Practical Guidance for Sustaining Forests in Development Cooperation. Washington, DC: World Bank.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  68. ———. 2012. Liberia Forest Sector Diagnostic: Results of a Diagnostic on Advances and Learning from Liberia’s Six-Years of Experience with Forest Sector Reform. Washington, DC: World Bank.Google Scholar

Copyright information

© The Author(s) 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  • Michael D. Beevers
    • 1
  1. 1.Department of Environmental StudiesDickinson CollegeCarlisleUSA

Personalised recommendations