Last updated: 07 March 2020



Forestry and legality

Region Latin America & Caribbean (2019) UNSD
FLEGT status VPA negotiating (2019) FLEGT Facility
Forest area 16.5 million ha (2015) FAO
Deforestation rate 0.01 million ha/year (2010-2015) FAO
Planted area 0 million ha (2015) FAO
Tree cover loss 183 kha (2001-2018) Global Forest Watch
Tree cover loss (%) 0.96 % (2001-2018) Global Forest Watch
Tree cover gain 11.4 kha (2001-2012) Global Forest Watch
FSC certified area 423,565 ha (December 2019) FSC
PEFC certified area 0 ha (December 2019) PEFC
Double certified area (FSC & PEFC) 0 ha (Mid-2019) FSC & PEFC

VPA status of Guyana

  • Guyana initialed the VPA agreement with the EU in 2018, with one emphasis being its role in upholding indigenous Amerindian people’s rights and interests.

  • At the same time, a final draft of Guyana’s Green State Development Strategy (GSDS) was developed with an aim to make the country a ‘de-carbonised, resource efficient economy’.

  • The GSDS was developed through a multi-layered, nationwide, stakeholder consultation process conducted throughout 2018, with the technical support of the UN Environment Regional Office in Latin America and the Caribbean.

  • The GSDS was revised and submitted to the Government’s Cabinet in April 2019 and implementation is due to begin in 2020.

  • To help progress its VPA, in 2018 Guyana launched formal consultations on new Forestry Regulations to receive input from private sector and civil society.

  • Also in 2018, Guyana formalised a compulsory Code of Practice for forest operations which is now incorporated into the legal framework. The new Regulations and Code of Practice allow for a more robust system of monitoring.

  • As well as clarifying legal and administrative requirements applicable to the forest sector, the VPA process has led to other governance gains. It has strengthened government institutions responsible for forestry, tax, customs, environment, labour and land use, and improved coordination between them.

  • In a boost for transparency, the Guyana Forestry Commission now publishes information about allocation of logging concessions on its website.

Forest resources in Guyana

  • According to the Guyana Forestry Commission, forests cover 18.48 million hectares, 87% of Guyana’s total surface area.

  • Of the forestland, 12.57 million hectares is designated as State Forests and placed under the management of the Guyana Forestry Commission (GFC)

  • Of designated state forests, 4.68 million hectares (37.25%) have been allocated for timber extraction through State Forest Permits, State Exploratory Permits, and Timber Sales Agreements. Another 0.75 million hectares have been designated as protected and research areas. The remaining 7.13 million hectares were unallocated in 2018.

  • Another ninety-six (mostly forested) areas, covering just over 3 million hectares have been conveyed as Amerindian Titled Lands, the largest private landownership in Guyana.

  • According to FAO 2015 Forest Resource Assessment, deforestation averaged only 5,360 hectares per year between 1990 and 2015, a very low rate compared to other tropical countries. 90% of Guyana’s forest remains intact, according to the World Bank. The main deforestation driver in recent years has been development for mining.

  • Common species found in Guyana include Mora gonggrijpii (morabukea), Chlorocardium rodiei (greenheart), Vouacapoua macropetala (sarabebeballi) and Clathrotropis brachypetala (aromata), according to ITTO’s 2011 Status of Tropical Forest Management report.



Economic and industrial status

GDP 3.6 billion USD (2018) World Bank
Population 0.8 million (2018) World Bank
Income group Upper middle income (2019) World Bank
Ease of Doing Business (EDB) Rank 134 / 190 (2019) World Bank
Global Competitiveness Index Rank unavailable / 141 (2019) World Economic Forum
Liner Shipping Connectivity Index 9.2 (maximum value in 2004 = 100) (2019) World Bank

Timber industry competitiveness of Guyana

  • The forest products sector in Guyana comprises a few foreign owned medium to large enterprises, several family-owned small to medium enterprises, several community chain saw operating associations, and several one-person chain saw operators.

  • Guyana has some competitive advantages in the wood product sector, notably the large area of relatively intact forest with several desirable hardwood species, such as greenheart, purpleheart, and wamara, the latter a substitute for rosewood that has been overharvested elsewhere.

  • The Government of Guyana has a policy to develop value-added processing in the country, particularly of lesser known species, and has indicated willingness to offer fiscal incentives to achieve this goal.

  • However, other factors make Guyana a challenging environment for development of a globally competitive forest sector. Infrastructure in Guyana remains generally inadequate and unevenly maintained. Frequent and unpredictable electrical outages, high electricity costs, no deepwater port, a low percentage of paved roads, relatively high telecommunication costs, and an underdeveloped transportation system complicate commercial operations.

  • These challenges are reflected in Guyana’s relatively low position on international competitiveness indices. Guyana’s hasn’t been listed on the World Economic Forum’s Global Competitiveness index since 2017, after slipping through the ranks in previous years. Ranking on the World Bank’s Ease of Doing Business index fell from 126th in 2017 to 134th in 2018. Guyana is ranked very low (131st) on the Global Connectivity Index.

  • As a result, Guyana’s wood products sector is characterised by a focus on relatively low value primary activities, log harvesting and processing of green lumber and some plywood manufacturing.

Trade Overview

Trade Overview


  • According to the Guyana Forestry Commission, Guyana produced 293,100 m3 of logs in 2018, 4% more than 2017. In 2018, 67,600 m3 of production was of high quality “Special Category” logs, mainly comprising greenheart, with smaller volumes of purpleheart and other species.

  • In addition to logs, 24,000 m3 of small diameter poles, piles and posts were produced in 2018, 13% more than in 2017. Much of this volume comprised greenheart and wallaba.

  • 44,600 m3 of primary lumber was produced in 2018, 7% more than in 2017. The primary species used for lumber production in 2018 were Kabukalli, Greenheart, Wallaba, Tauroniro Bulletwood, Purpleheart, Simarupa, Mora and Shibadan.

  • Plywood production was 14,600 m3 in 2018, nearly double the volume of 2017 (7,333 m3) according to Guyana Forestry Commission data.

  • Guyana also produced 10,400 m3 of charcoal and 13,600 m3 of fuelwood in 2018.

Guyana’s imports and exports of timber products in the latest 12 months (USD value from January 2019 to December 2019)

NOTE: Mirror data from STIX, drawing on trade data reported by Guyana’s main trading partners, is used. Read more about the data in ‘Data Sources and Issues’.
Hover over the chart to see the value.

Imports (23.62 Million USD) Exports (33.98 Million USD)
Region Country Product Product Country Region

Guyana’s production, imports, exports and domestic consumption of primary wood products in 2018

(data source: ITTO) Hover over the chart to see the value.

Trend in production, imports, exports and domestic consumption of primary wood products (logs, sawnwood, plywood, and veneer) in Guyana

(data source: ITTO)