Community Forestry Development Committee of Forest Management Contract Area P Grand Kru, Maryland & River Gee Counties – Atlantic Resources, Ltd. – 2010 – Social Agreement

Basic information

Country

Liberia

Community party

Community Forestry Development Committee of Forest Management Contract Area P Grand Kru, Maryland & River Gee Counties

Company signatory

Atlantic Resources, Ltd

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

Agreement ends after termination of Forest Management Contract (FMC) and is reviewable after 5 years

Date of contract signature

15/02/2010

Language

English

Location

Grand Kru, Maryland & River Gee Counties

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 Atlantic Resources Limited and the communities of Grand Kru, Maryland and River Gee Counties, Community Forest Development Committees for Forest Management Contract Area P (“the communities”). The Forestry Development Authority of Liberia is a witness to the agreement (page 2). The Forest Management Contract Area P was awarded to Atlantic Resources. In preparing Forest Management Contract Area P, 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 the Liberian law and regulations. 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 Committees (“CFDC”) which is responsible for representing the communities and negotiating the agreement on their behalf (Art. IV). The CFDC consists of at least 5 members who must be residents of the community which they represent (Art. IV). Members must be freely and fairly elected and provide a means for all residents that it represents including women and youths to have their views heard and considered (Art. IV (b) and (c)). The agreement is effective through the duration of the Forest Management Contract and reviewed every 5 years after which time it will expire (Art. XI).

  • Governance, implementation, dispute resolution

    Atlantic Resources and the communities of Grand Kru, Maryland and River Gee Counties 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 (Arts. VI(C)). In addition to quarterly meetings, Atlantic Resources must 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 Atlantic Resources 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)). If there is any controversy under the agreement, the parties will seek to initial resolve their differences with the assistance of the government (Art. IX, page 12). 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. 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 12). The arbitration proceedings will be in English with interpreter provided for local languages. The governing law is the law of Liberia (Art. IX, page 12). 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)). 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. XI).

  • Fiscal obligations: content

    Atlantic Resources agreed to participate in community development programs (e.g. human resource development, construction of school, clinic, etc.) (Art. III, page 8). Atlantic Resources will pay US$ 1.50 per cubic meter to the CFDC of Grand Kru, Maryland and River Gee Counties apart from the payment of 30% land rental (US$ 2.50 per hectare) to the community benefit sharing scheme (Art. III, page 8).

  • Community development obligations: Local content

    Atlantic Resources agrees to provide first preference for skilled and unskilled employment for the communities of Grand Kru, Maryland and River Gee Counties County (Art. III, page 8).

  • Community development obligations: Infrastructure and social services

    Atlantic Resources agreed to build company camps near existing towns or affected areas and to construct schools for the education of employees’ dependents (Art. III, page 9). Atlantic Resources agreed to recondition and maintain roads adjacent to the annual operational area and connected nearby towns and to not construct logged bridges or primary roads (Art. III, page 8). Atlantic Resources agrees that the community shall use, free of charge, any roads constructed and maintained by Atlantic Resources provided such use shall not prejudice or interfere with either party (Art. III, page 9).

  • Community development obligations: Other

    Atlantic Resources agreed to provide transportation during emergency situations and major development activities (Art. III, page 8). Atlantic Resources agreed to make timber products available to the communities during community development projects (Art. III, page 8).

  • Environmental and social protection

    Atlantic Resources agreed to design its logging 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 8). Atlantic Resources also agreed to ensure water collection points are protected and maintained (Art. III, page 8). Atlantic Resources agreed that timber operations are timed to minimize disruption to subsistence agricultural activities and to respect existing cash crops (Art. III, page 8). Atlantic Resources agreed not to harvest palm trees for processing, bridge construction or export (Art. III, page 8). Existing cash crops will be identified by the communities and Atlantic Resources informed not to conflict with harvest operations (Art. IV, Code of conduct).

  • Reference to investor-state contract

    The government will ensure that the operations of Atlantic Resources are in compliance with the Forest Management Contract (Art. V). The communities were informed of the potential Forest Management Contract (between the government and Atlantic Resources) and that a social agreement was required by the Liberian law and regulations (page 6).

  • Other noteworthy clauses

    The communities agreed to avoid the expansion of subsistence agriculture activities within the contract area, to promote and encourage low land agriculture development, and to discourage unnecessary fire disposal and encourage safe fire practices especially in the contract area (Art. IV).