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Liberia is a major producer and exporter of timber but revenues accrued from the activity has not benefited the people who own the forests or the country as a whole.
During Liberia’s 1989-2003 civil crisis, logging companies were said to have links to arms traders and provided funding directly to former president Charles Taylor’s war efforts. This led to UN sanctions on Liberia.
When logging restarted after the war, many expected logging companies to pay the millions of dollars they owe in taxes to the government and to communities where the resource can be found, but they didn’t.
During the tenure of former president Ellen Johnson Sirleaf, the government attracted around $15 billion in foreign investment but the country was criticized for signing away much of its public land to logging and natural rubber companies.
The current president George Weah has since ordered a review of these concessions.