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LibTA heading For SRO Status

  1 Novembre      30        Economy (15054), Environnement/Eaux/Forêts (91),


MONRPVIA, Oct. 31 (LINA) – The Liberia Timber Association (LibTA) has embarked on a process to transcend into a Self-Regulatory Organization (SRO) to consolidate its engagement and supervisory role as prime representative of logging companies in Liberia.

The process of pursuing a Self-Regulatory Status began with LibTA conducting a nationwide survey among logging companies to measure their interest to ascertain if they would prefer LibTA transcending into a SRO.

A statement by the organization said the overriding objective of LibTA seeking metamorphosis to SRO is aimed at, among others, pursuing logging companies who are yet to become members of LibTA to become full members to strengthen the membership base of the organization.

This it said will serve the interest of logging companies in bargaining with host communities and negotiations with government as well as to push for financial support from LibTA’s members for the smooth running of the organization.

With financial support from the Foreign Commonwealth Development Office (FCDO) of Britain to the Nature and Development Foundation (NDF) and the Multi-Forestry Governance Accountability Program (MFGAP), LibTA was empowered with trickle down funding that enabled it conduct a perception survey among logging companies last month.

Following analysis of the survey, recommendations on the next step include a need to communicate with private sector (logging companies) to reach consensus on common area of interest.

Other recommendations are that the study should be conducted among existing trade Associations with example being Timber Development UK to understand standards, modes of operation, among others.

Also that LibTA should look for models that will work best in the Liberian environment while another recommendation is that the scope of areas to be covered should include marketing, interaction with members and business linkages.

Additionally, the survey conductor recommended that Self-regulation should be part of multi-faceted structures supporting other measures taken by government.

At the close of the presentation on findings and recommendations on the  perception survey,  participants at the one-day validation workshop hosted by LibTA at the Methodist Compound in Sinkor last Thursday, proposed that another round of perception survey should be conducted by LibTA among logging companies to afford them better understanding before answering the questionnaires.

The survey was the first step or process initiated by LibTA to gauge the views of logging company operators on the intention of LibTA to become a Self-Regulatory Organization; and this was followed by a legal study conducted by the Heritage Partners and Associations Law Firm on the legal ramifications to be considered in order for LibTA to transition to SRO.

In its summary conclusion of findings and recommendations on the SRO study, the Heritage Law Firm represented by Cllr. Nebalee Warner made some recommendations:

They include an SRO-styled organization is self-regulating through the means of establishing and enforcing internal rules on its consenting members, maintaining a complaint and dispute resolution mechanism, and ensuring that the sector operates at its optimum and with integrity.

It said the formation of SROs is not a new phenomenon to Liberia and it is a generally-accepted mode for regulation of professionals and industries in Liberia.

The Heritage Law Firm said given the motivation of LibTA to organize into an SRO, it can further its objectives it current status as a recognized non-for-profit organization.

The private law firm said for LibTA to create and maintain itself as a viable SRO, it must ensure that all of the consent of more than 60 percent, if not all of its members, is obtained while providing value-added services to its members should be prioritized and that LibTA establishment of relationship with the Forestry Development Authority (FDA) and other stakeholders within the forest sector is inevitable in LibTA achieving and maintaining any kind of SRO status.

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