Mar 18, 2011 News
Amidst growing international demands to end illegal logging, Guyana is currently reviewing its system that hopefully will meet with global standards.
The system will be crucial if Guyana wants to continue exporting its forest products especially to the US and Europe, both which have introduced stringent requirements to ensure that logs are cut according to accepted standards.
According to the Ministry of Agriculture, a draft report has been presented to the Guyana Forestry Commission (GFC) and the Forest Products Development and Marketing Council (FPDMC).
GFC, with support from international donors, commenced and developed a draft Legality Assurance System in 2006. The system, termed the “Guyana Legality Assurance System” (GLAS), went through several revisions with direct and indirect stakeholders.
More recently in 2010, the FPDMC and the Guyana National Bureau of Standards (GNBS), led another stakeholder-inclusive process which led to the GLAS being formally recognized as a National Standard, the Ministry explained.
“With the growing importance of forests and the positive strides that Guyana has made internationally on Sustainable Forest Management with great emphasis being placed on legality of forest produce, Guyana then partnered with the US and EU to draw synergies with other legality schemes such as the US Lacey Act and the EU FLEGT Programme.”
The intention was to make the GLAS internationally accepted and recognised, the Ministry said. “With this overarching objective in mind, the GFC and FPDMC, with strategic guidance and policy oversight from the Minister of Agriculture with responsibility for Forests, commenced discussions with USAID/GTIS to support a review of the GLAS with this overall aim of having the GLAS meeting international standards.”
USAID/GTIS made funding possible to do this review and two consultants Reinhold Glauner and Joern Ackermann were contracted. The consultants spent approximately three weeks in Guyana reviewing the document and meeting with local stakeholders, as well as conducting field and on-site visits to concessions.
On Tuesday, the consultants along with USAID and GTIS representatives, William Gelman and Patrick Henry, met with the Minister of Agriculture, Robert Persaud, and briefed him on the work that has been conducted to date.
The draft reports and recommendations have also been presented to Persaud, and the GFC, FPDMC and FPA have been mandated to do an internal review of the documents.
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