The agricultural sector has a significant impact on the Liberian economy: it is the largest source of employment and food supply. It is responsible for 60 % of the country’s total export revenue and is a source of livelihood for about 70% of the population. According to the World Bank estimate in October 2020, agriculture accounted for 39.11% of Liberia’s GDP in 2019. The agro-ecological zones of Liberia make it suitable for the cultivation of the major commercial tree crops such as cocoa, rubber, oil palm and timber. Liberia has a total land area of 9.6 million ha, and about 4.3 million ha (approximately 43%) is covered by forest. This makes Liberia the most forested country in West Africa, and it contains vast areas of undamaged tropical forest important for biodiversity conservation and climate mitigation.
This report reviewed and analysed existing laws, policies, strategies and institutional frameworks on the cultivation of tree crops (cocoa, natural rubber, palm oil and timber) linked to deforestation and associated impact on child labour, forced labour, land rights and smallholder inclusion in Liberia. Information for the review and analysis was based on extensive desk review of existing laws, policies, regulations and institutional frameworks designed by relevant Government of Liberia (GoL) ministries and agencies and development partners relating to deforestation in the tree crop sector, consultations with key informants, including knowledgeable policy makers and experts from GoL, Non-Governmental Organisations (NGOs) and Civil Society Organisations (CSOs) to get their perspectives on how the laws, policies, regulations and institutional frameworks are differently affecting deforestation and social issues in the tree crop sector in Liberia.