Despite lauding the systems it has in place, the Guyana Forestry Commission says instantly tracking a log harvested in Guyana for export poses significant challenges.
This is according to the second Independent Forest Monitoring report which was conducted by the GFA consulting group out of Germany earlier this year.
According to the report “currently, challenges may occur when attempting to instantly trace logs or lumber when these are accompanied by transshipment permits, custody forms, clearance passes, bills of sale, invoices, or dispatch documents.”
According to the German company, there is scope to develop an improved methodology as well as a more robust system to effectively manage and synthesize all documents utilised in the chain of movement; e.g. by storage and by requiring that removal permit numbers are strictly referenced on all documents used for transportation of forest produce.
According to the German company, when it comes to the GFC, “There is a general need for improved coordination of summaries and databases.”
The company pointed to the data management systems of the Timber Sales Agreements (TSA) for logging, and said this must be addressed to properly reflect re-entry, roll over and advanced blocks for each company to assure consistency, accountability and easy access to block information.
The German group also advocated for the strengthening of the design of the SFP database in order to facilitate verification of quotas, particularly when SFPs are being issued at some point during the year, instead of at the beginning of the year.
It was found too, that environmental records are not part of the general summary of information on TSAs compiled by GFC.
The group recommended that consideration be given by GFC to developing a separate system of record keeping for this information.
GFC’s head, James Singh, in a recent marathon press engagement had lauded the robust tracking system in place by that body, but the report has found that much more needs to be done to ensure integrity.
GFC has stated under its National Wood Tracking System that the monitoring of wood flows requires the identification of critical control points at different locations within the supply chain, as well as the monitoring of stages and processes that affect the state of the asset as it moves through the chain.
“The first control point will be the source of timber and the allocation of logging rights followed by data gathering through pre-harvest inventory… Essentially, the latter will involve mapping standing trees and gathering specific metrics data such as species, size and quality as well as determining tree location.”
Under the wood tracking system used, the GFC says that official tags with unique numbers are affixed to both the stump and the log.
The process follows throughout the forest and processing operations, monitoring timber as it transforms and flows through the supply chain, and reconciling data gathered at each of the individual control points.
“The GFC gathers information at all the supply chain control points, processes the data gathered and automatically reconciles it with data gathered at previous control points, identifying any errors or anomalies that are found in the data.”
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