Sustainable Forest Management

Guyana’s is one of the most heavily forested countries in South America with 87% of its landmass covered with Pristine Forest. Guyana’s State Forest Estate has approximately 12.5 million hectares of rich biodiversity and is considered a vital asset in the global fight against climate change. Holding one of the lowest deforestation rates (0.05%) in the world, Guyana’s forests houses more than 1000 different varieties of timber species with 52% of the state forest lands allocated for harvesting under sustainable forest management rules and guidelines which have been enacted by the Government of Guyana and regulated by the Guyana Forestry Commission.

The following main pieces of Legislation provide a legal framework for the social, economic and environmental management of Guyana’s State Forest:

  1. The Guyana Forest Commission Act 2007
  2. The Forest Act of 2009
  3. The National Forest Plan (NFP)
  4. Guyana’s Low Carbon Development Strategy (LCDS)
  5. National Logging Export Policy

Fully utilizing state forest resources ensure sustainability, and the strategies outlined in these various policy documents all support the sector in the following areas:

  • Improving recovery rates
  • Reducing deforestation
  • Reducing waste
  • Increasing the sector’s contribution to the national economy, and
  • Increasing job creation and improving competitiveness of our forest resources.

Highlighted in the Low Carbon Development Strategy 2030 are the following mechanisms and policies to continue the trajectory of maintaining the sustainability, management and welfare of Guyana’s forests and forest resources.

Sustainable Forestry

  • Finalize and Implement Voluntary Partnership Agreement (VPA) under European Union Forest Law Enforcement Government and Trade (EU FLEGT)
  • Implement Programme for Endorsement of Forest Certification (PEFC) Expand local value chain for wood products

Forest Climate Services

  • Sustain Monitoring, Reporting and Verification System (MRVS) for REDD+ and ART-TREES
  • Implement Safeguard Information System for REDD+ and ART-TREES
  • Create Policy and Legal Framework for project level climate services, including framework for private sector-led reclamation and reforestation programmes.

Ecosystem Services

  • Expansion and protection of Guyana’s mangrove forests
  • Maintain Intact Forest Landscapes
  • Biodiversity Research, Conservation and Protection
  • Watershed Management
  • Examination green-grey solutions (engineered infrastructure/mangroves)
  • Strengthen and expand Guyana’s Protected Area System

PEFC and FLEGT

Guyana is moving towards the enactment of a National Forest Management Standard and Certification System offered by the Programme for Endorsement of Forest Certification (PEFC). This certification promotes the legality and sustainability of Guyana’s forest management linking government policies and local processes.

The enactment of this certification system compliments the FLEGT VPA which focuses on legal enforcement. Though all FSOs must comply with the GTLAS under the FLEGT VPA, the FSO can voluntarily choose to use either a private certification or a FLEGT licence when exporting to the EU.

The compliance requirements for PEFC and FLEGT are the same. FSOs who comply with all the sustainability and legality requirements and processes will be issued a PEFC Certificate or FLEGT Licence, depending on the destination market and the preference of the FSO. However, the FLEGT licence will only be apply to the EU, while the private certification scope can be applied to any international market to meet any due diligence checks.

FSC and FLEGT

Similarly, to PEFC, Forest Stewardship Council (FSC) promotes sustainable forest management through its certification scheme. While private certification initiatives, including FSC and PEFC, have different approaches from the FLEGT VPA, their outcomes are complementary. Both private certifications and the FLEGT voluntary VPA are designed to improve forest management and combat illegal logging and associated trade.

The FSC Controlled Wood certification covers lumber and outdoor furniture production and distribution in Guyana. The certificate also covers a verification programme for controlling wood sources from identified supply areas in Guyana and the sale of FSC Controlled Wood.

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