Liberia: Domestic Timber Value Chain Analysis - Building Markets

Liberia: Domestic Timber Value Chain Analysis

by Jennifer Holt
January 12, 2017

Building Markets is pleased to announce the launch of Liberia: Domestic Timber Value Chain Analysis. Our hope is that this study will increase accountability and transparency in Liberia’s forestry sector, help ensure timber resources are sustainable, and contribute to long-term development goals.

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During Liberia’s civil war, the nation’s forests were exploited and illicit revenues from timber were used to sustain the conflict. Since the UN Security Council’s ban on timber exports in 2003, Liberia has made significant efforts to reconstruct and reform its forestry sector.

Working with the European Union, it has begun to certify the legal origin of the entire national timber production. Systems to control, verify, and license timber have also been developed for formal export-oriented logging companies. However, the timber market in Liberia has so far been unaffected by these reforms and regulatory efforts.

The domestic timber industry in Liberia encompasses chainsaw milling and rural production, transportation, urban market purchases and sales, and woodworking and construction businesses. It involves all counties and makes up a significant part of the country’s GDP.

Overview of Liberia's Domestic Timber Value Chain
Overview of Liberia’s Domestic Timber Value Chain

This study captures how much sawn-timber is informally produced and transported to urban markets; the economic value of timber and the number of actors along the domestic supply chain; the direct and indirect socio-economic benefits of chainsaw logging; as well as the dynamics of downstream activities in the woodworking sector.

By mapping and defining the domestic timber value chain, we have identified opportunities to improve policy and regulation, monitor environmental impacts, and to promote equitable linkages between the informal and formal economies.

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This work was made possible by the United States Agency for International Development (USAID) and generously supported by the Forestry Development Authority (FDA), the Center for International Forestry Research (CIFOR), and key local partners.

We look forward to continuing our engagement with Liberian businesses and entrepreneurs, and all our partners who make our work possible.


Any feedback on this report can be addressed to our Market Research Manager, Allison Bickel, who led this important research: [email protected].


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