HPA Hosts Mock Negotiation On The Small-Scale Commercial-Use Commercial Contract And Training Of Community Forest & Chainsaw Millers
Heritage Partners & Associates, LLC ("HPA") conducted a community and private sector training on the Small-scale Commercial Use Contract (“SS-CUC”) template and a simulated negotiation on July 29, 2023 in Salayea, Lofa County. The conference was attended by representatives from Salayea Authorized Forest Community (SAFC), Salayea Chainsaw millers (SAMAH), NUCFMB, the Salayea Community Development Land Development and management Committee (CLDMC), and the Paramount Chief's office.
During the workshop, Cllr. J. Awia Vankan, a Partner at HPA, led a session on "Preparation for Mock Negotiation and Negotiation Strategy," in which he explained contract negotiation principles and provided negotiation recommendations while Cllr. Lucia D. Sonii-Gbala, HPA's
Managing Director, delivered a presentation on "Provisions of the SS-CUC Template". She provided a step-by-step and extensive examination of the SS-CUC Template.
The SS-CUC Template is a model contract/sample to be used by the communities. “The SS-CUC” is designed to properly reflect and protect the interests of communities that enter into contract(s) with individuals or companies (each referred to as a “Third Party”) for commercial harvesting of timbers from community forestry. In particular, the SS-CUC is intended to strengthen communities’ understanding of their rights and bargaining positions in negotiation of SS-CUCs, which hopefully should lead to increased benefits for communities and ultimately promotes better forest governance and forest law enforcement”.
With this background on the SS-CUC, a simulation or “mock negotiation” was organized to help communities apply their knowledge obtained from several trainings on the provisions of the SS-CUC, the legal framework governing it, and the negotiation tips and strategies learned from the tools developed by HPA and ClientEarth. To this end, a highly engaging mock negotiation was held between SAMAH and the Salayea Authorized Forest Community (“SAFC”), which included a feedback session moderated by Cllr. Lucia D.S. Gbala and Cllr. J. Awia Vankan.
The mock negotiation and training is one of the activities being provided under the Multi-stakeholders Forest Governance & Accountability Project (“MFGAP”) where HPA is an implementing partner. Thus, SAFC and Salayea Chainsaw millers which are MFGAP’s pilot communities are provided with support.