Wood Energy Catalogue

Liberia Forest Sector Project (2016-2023) - Opportunities for Charcoal and Sustainable Forest Management

Countries of implementation

The Liberia Forest Sector Project (LFSP) is a USD37.5 million grant-financed project supported by the Government of Norway via a World Bank-managed Trust Fund. Under the LFSP framework, Liberia’s Forestry Development Authority (FDA) sought to investigate the potential for charcoal production to provide livelihood benefits and improved incomes for forest communities, while incentivising sustainable management of forest resources.

Key findings include:

  1. Estimation: Charcoal consumption in Liberia in 2018 estimated at 337,000 metric tons (worth US$46 million); employed up to 28,000 people on a ‘full-time equivalent’ basis.
  2. Observations: 1) Efforts to introduce industry regulation have proven unrealistic, due to capacity constraints and high compliance costs; 2) there is some potential to develop economically competitive alternative models, to introduce more realistic enforcement and taxation measures, and to set up systems for better monitoring of the industry; 3) charcoal from dedicated energy plantations is not deemed economically viable.
  3. Three potential strategies proposed for alternative business models: 1) Produce charcoal from sustainably managed community forests; 2) Produce charcoal from logging residues; 3) Explore premium charcoal export markets.
  4. Two proposed measures: 1) Review the charcoal regulations and waybill fee - the 2017 Regulation on Sustainable Wood-Based Biomass Energy Production and Marketing is unlikely to be enforceable and a full review is proposed; 2) Improve data on the charcoal industry - There is a pressing need for data on the charcoal industry for rational planning and policy-making.
Liberia, charcoal, potential, policy review, regulations, business model, strategy, SFM
Type of initiatives
Sector review and study
Level of intervention
Responsible agencies
World Bank