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Guyana Forestry Commission and Partners Begin Countrywide Compliance Outreach

Forest sector operators across Guyana will benefit from multiple awareness and capacity-building activities between June and September 2022. The Guyana Forestry Commission will lead this initiative by hosting sixteen awareness-raising sessions on the forestry sector’s legal compliance requirements and providing bookkeeping and record-keeping skills training with the support of its partners.

Under the theme ‘Improving Compliance within the Guyana Timber Legality Framework’, these sessions focus on enhancing voluntary compliance by providing key forest operators with guidance on the main compliance requirements. These include the National Insurance Scheme, the Guyana Revenue Authority, the Ministry of Labour, and the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) requirements.

The first session of the 2022 stakeholder outreach in Parika.

Guyana is implementing the Guyana Timber Legality Assurance System (GTLAS), which expands on the country’s current Wood Tracking System and is based on the country’s existing legal framework. The GTLAS is central to Guyana’s efforts to guarantee the legality of its timber products and ensure they meet national and international obligations and requirements. Market access to the European Union and other global markets will improve when the country’s forest operators meet these conditions.

Partners for the outreach include the Ministry of Natural Resources (MONR), the Delegation of the European Union to Guyana, the European Forest Institute Technical Assistance Project (EFITAP), the Government of the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland acting through the Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office (FCDO), the Forest Law Enforcement, Governance and Trade (FLEGT) Facilitator and Forest Governance Facilitator.

To learn more about this event and how to participate, visit www.euflegt.gov.gy, www.forestry.gov.gy or the Guyana-EU FLEGT VPA Facebook and Instagram pages. You can also contact the FLEGT Secretariat at 592-226-7247 or 223-5135 or email euflegtguyana@gmail.com.


Media Contact:

Tanika Jones
Communications and Outreach Expert
European Forest Institute Technical Assistance Project (EFITAP)
Guyana Forestry Commission Annex
17 Access Road, Kingston, Georgetown, Guyana
Telephone: +592-503-1830
Email: efitapguyana@gmail.com

Guyana-EU Agree on Roadmap to Improve Forest Governance, Reduce Illegal Timber Trade

Guyana and the European Union (EU) on Thursday, agreed on a detailed roadmap for implementing the Guyana-EU Forest Law Enforcement, Governance and Trade (FLEGT) Voluntary Partnership Agreement (VPA), which aims to improve forest governance and verify the trade in legal timber.

The aide-mémoire was signed by Minister of Natural Resources, Vickram Bharrat and EU Ambassador to Guyana, His Excellency, Fernando Ponz Cantó, at the Pegasus hotel after a meeting with the various stakeholders.

Minister of Natural Resources, Vickram Bharrat, M.P and Ambassador of the European Union to Guyana, Fernando Ponz Cantó sign the agreement.

“In no way the FLEGT VPA or the Low Carbon Development Strategy, that is in the consultative process right now is speaking towards reduction in forest activities, reduction in harvesting or the production of wood products, what it speaks to directly is the sustainability of it, how inclusive the process is and also, and importantly how legal, the operation and the products are,” Minister Bharrat said.

He made it clear that the agreement in no way means that the country is “cutting down” on forest activities, but ensuring that it is done in a sustainable, legal manner.

He noted that Guyana has one of the best forest management systems in the world.

“We are way above in terms of the management, in terms of sustainability and eradicating illegal logging,” Minister Bharrat noted.

The Minister said the government has been successful in tackling illegal logging, making more resources available to the Guyana Forestry Commission (GFC).

The administration has also taken steps to curb illegal mining, allocating more than 100 small concessions to small loggers and their associations in Regions One and Ten, and monitoring activities. 

Meanwhile, the EU Ambassador noted that the concerns raised about the forestry regulation are currently being discussed in Europe.

“In any case we are aware that Guyana is in a situation where it has preserved its forest, I have to congratulate you for that,” he said.    

He noted that it is timely to have the FLEGT VPA continue to preserve the forest.

“The FLEGT VPA is going to be a formidable tool for ultimately helping Guyana and helping all of you to preserve the forest, but also to use it for the benefit of your communities, for the benefit of Guyanese in a way that it is inclusive, that it is sustainable and in a way that the forest continues to be this treasure that you have, but also provides for the current and for the future generations,” EU Ambassador said.

During the meeting, the parties discussed the establishment of the Guyana-EU VPA Joint Monitoring and Review Committee (JMRC), which will oversee the implementation of the agreement and includes representatives of all stakeholder groups.

Guyana is committed to making funds available to support the implementation of the VPA. Additional financial support is provided by the EU, Norway, and the UK.

The next meeting of the parties is expected before the end of 2022.

The VPA negotiations began in December 2012. They involved the private sector, government ministries and agencies, and indigenous peoples.

Source: Guyana Forestry Commission