Community Forestry Development Committee of Forest Management Contract Area I, Grand Gedeh County – Geblo Logging Inc – 2016 – Social Agreement

Basic information

Country

Liberia

Community party

Community Forestry Development Committee of Forest Management Contract Area I, Grand Gedeh County

Company signatory

Geblo Logging Inc

Resource(s)

Timber (Wood)

Project phase covered

Industry

Forestry

National government: signatory?

No

Local government: signatory?

No

Was the agreement required by law?

Yes

Term

Date of contract signature

05/06/2016

Language

English

Location

Grand Gedeh County

Source: URL

Reports

OpenCorporates ID

Listings in other databases

Listing of the parent contract at ResourceContracts.org or OpenLandContracts.org

Summary of contract

  • Negotiation, representation, and other relevant context

    The agreement is between Geblo Logging Inc. (“Geblo Logging”) and the communities of Grand Gedeh Community Forest Development Committee for Forest Management Contract Area I (“the communities”). The Forestry Development Authority of Liberia is a witness to the agreement (page 2). The Forest Management Contract Area I was awarded to Geblo Logging. In preparing Forest Management Contract Area I, notice was given and surveys conducted in a portion of the communities to validate whether the area was suitable for commercial forest practices based on ecological, economic and social considerations. As part of this survey, the communities were informed of the potential Forest Management Contract and that a social agreement was required by Liberian laws and regulations (page 5). The government secured a statement on behalf of the communities that they would negotiate a social agreement in good faith with the winner of the competitive bid (page 6). Community members shall elect their representatives to the Community Forestry Development Committee (“CFDC”) which is responsible for representing the communities and negotiating the agreement (Art. IV). The CFDC must consists of at least 5 members who are residents of the community which they represent (Art. IV(a)). Members must be freely and fairly elected and provide a means for all residents that it represents including women, youths and elders, to have their views heard and considered (Arts. IV(b) and IV(c)). The CFDC must hold monthly meetings with the community members for briefing, updates and grievances (Art. IV(h)). The agreement is effective for 5 years and is the renegotiation of an agreement which ended in 2015 (page 6; Art. XII).

  • Governance, implementation, dispute resolution

    Geblo Logging and the communities will maintain lines of communication regarding operations and will provide periodic updates regarding any issues in implementing the agreement (which should include information as to volume of logs removed to date) to the chairperson (Art. VI(C)). Geblo Logging agrees to convene quarterly meetings with the Community Forestry Development Committee (“CFDC”) and the communities on the last Friday of the last month in each quarter as well as to hold emergency meetings with the CFDC and the communities to discuss any issues when the need arises (Art. III, page 8). The parties will hold annual meetings with representatives of the CFDC, the government and Geblo Logging to discuss the upcoming annual operating plan as well as to attempt to resolve any issues identified from the previous operating season (Art. VI(D)). The communities agreed to channel all of their grievances through the CFDC (Code of Conduct, page 9). If there is any controversy under the agreement, the parties will initially seek to resolve the matter with the assistance of the government (Art. IX, page 11). If there are still differences, local government officials (District Commissioner, Paramount Chiefs, Clan Chief, and Town Chief) will be neutral parties in a third-party mediation process, provided that their neutrality is proven. If not resolved by these steps, any claim relating to the agreement shall be exclusively settled by binding arbitration in accordance with the Commercial Arbitration Rules (Art. IX, page 11). The governing law is the law of Liberia (Art. IX, page 9). The agreement shall be binding on the parties, their heirs, administrators, assigns and successors-in-office as though they were physically present when the agreement was signed (Art. XII). The parties may modify the agreement by mutual agreement and the government needs to attest to its completeness prior to any modifications going into effect (Art. VI(B)).

  • Fiscal obligations: content

    Geblo Logging will pay US$ 1.50 per cubic meter to the Community Forestry Development Committee (“CFDC”) apart from the payment of 30% land rental (US$ 2.50 per acre) to the community benefit sharing scheme (Art. III, page 8). Geblo Logging agrees to pay 50% of the total cubic meter fee for the logging season of April 2015-April 2016 on April 26, 2016 and the balance 50% on May 26, 2016. Any default in this payment term shall render the agreement null and void (Art. III, page 7). Geblo Logging agreed to pay US$ 6,000 annually to the CFDC for human resource capacity building for citizens of the community on December 31 every year (Art. III, page 7). The CFDC will receive 10% of the annual revenue to the communities (area and production base fees) as compensation, which shall be distributed based on positions (Art. IV(e)). 10% of the area-base fee will be paid directly by the National Benefit Sharing Trust Board every month but the 10% of the production / base fee compensation shall be received at the end of the year (Art. IV(f)).

  • Community development obligations: Local content

    Geblo Logging will respect employees’ rights consistent with the Labor Laws of Liberia (Art. III, page 7). Geblo Logging agreed to give employment preference to both skilled and unskilled locals of the communities (Art. III, page 7). Geblo Logging agrees to participate in Community Development Programs (Art. III, page 7).

  • Community development obligations: Infrastructure and social services

    Geblo Logging agrees to build subsequent camps in areas chosen by both the community and Geblo Logging and to provide housing and accommodation, food, medical and other basic social services for its workers (Art. III, page 7). Geblo Logging agreed to build 1 hand pump in the community every year (Art. III, page 7). Geblo Logging agreed to: (a) build 3 roads in the contract area and the Minister of Public Works will also be involved, (b) recondition and maintain roads adjacent to its annual operational area, and (c) allow the communities to use, free of charge, any roads constructed or maintained; provided that such use shall not unduly prejudice nor interfere with either party (Art. III, pages 7-8).

  • Community development obligations: Other

    Geblo Logging agreed to provide transportation to the communities during emergency situations and major development activities (Art. III, page 7). Geblo Logging agreed to provide, if needed, timber products to the communities during community development projects (Art. III, page 8).

  • Environmental and social protection

    Geblo Logging agreed to design its operations to minimize effects on traditional practices such as taboo day, sacred sites, and the range of taboo animals/plants, medicinal plant sites, hunting ground, and non-timber forest products sites (Art. III, page 7). Geblo Logging also agreed to ensure its operations protect and maintain existing water collection points (Art. III, page 7). Geblo Logging agreed to ensure its timber operations are timed to minimize disruption to subsistence agricultural activities and to respect existing cash crops/food crops (Art. III, page 7). Euro Liberia Logging agreed not to harvest palm trees for processing, bridge construction or export (Art. III, page 8). Existing cash crops will be identified and Geblo Logging will be informed by the communities to not conflict with Geblo Logging’s harvest operation (Code of Conduct, page 9).

  • Reference to investor-state contract

    The government will ensure that the operations of Geblo Logging are in compliance with the Forestry Management Contract between the government and Geblo Logging (Art. V, page 9).

  • Other noteworthy clauses

    The Community Forestry Development Committee (“CFDC”) and local authorities shall ensure that no chain sawing and farming are allowed in the contract area (Art. IV(g)). The communities agreed to avoid the expansion of subsistence agriculture activities within the contract area and shall promote and encourage low land agriculture development (Code of Conduct, page 9). The communities agreed to discourage unnecessary fire disposal and to encourage safe fire practices especially in the contract area (Code of Conduct, page 9). The communities agree not to carry on any commercial pit sawing in the contract area (Code of Conduct, page 9).