The Guyana Environmental Protection Agency has run further capacity building workshops for community forest operators on legality compliance under its EU FLEGT programme. The latest events focused on the country’s ‘environmental authorisation process’ under its Environmental Protection Act. It attracted 86 operators taking the total number of participants at the EPA’s latest workshop series to 246.
Presentations covered practical and theoretical components of the authorisation process and guidance was given on how to complete the authorisation form and which supporting documentation to provide. Further familiarisation workshops were scheduled in April.
Following these, said the EPA it would ‘continue to work with the Guyana Forestry Commission and other partners to ensure forestry operations have best environmental and social safeguards in place while remaining economically viable’. Previous workshops hosted by the EPA under the country’s EU FLEGT programme targeted students and community forestry organisations.
Guyana initialled its VPA in November 2018, becoming only the second South American country to do so after Honduras.
VPA implementation going forward, said an EU statement, will involve Guyana identifying and addressing possible gaps in the forest allocation process and in the legal framework, upgrading systems for tracking wood through the supply chain and improving procedures for verifying legal compliance. It will also ‘ensure that traditional rights of Amerindian peoples are not impeded’.
Guyanese Minister of Natural Resources Raphael Trotman and EC Deputy Director-General for International Cooperation and Development Marjeta Jager at the VPA signing in November 2018.
EU imports from Guyana mainly comprise hardwood logs and sawn timber. A significant proportion is destined for marine defence applications and trade tends to be quite volatile. Imports fell from 8,000 tonnes in 2015 to 3,000 tonnes in 2016, but recovered to 5,000 tonnes in the 12 months to November 2018.