Guyana continues to work its way back to reestablish greenheart exports to the United Kingdom.
Minister of Natural Resources, Raphael Trotman, has indicated that Guyana has taken the necessary steps to keep an agreement with the European Union to implement better monitoring of logs.
“You can go with your barcode monitor and you can tell exactly where a log is coming from and this is all necessary for our agreement with the EU. The agreement with the EU now allows us to enter other markets around the world,” Trotman said.
Through the Guyana Forestry Commission (GFC), Guyana continues its engagement with the UK as part of continued efforts to lift the ban on greenheart exports from Guyana. The UK Environment Agency handed down the ban in May 2015, citing the lack of sufficient evidence that Guyana’s “forests of origin are sustainably managed”.
“We believe once we complete this process and we raise the standard nationally, we will be able to have a full entrance into the UK. One company has already entered the UK so we know it’s not a total shut out,” Trotman indicated.
The Minister said that Guyana must be able to demonstrate that standards have been raised, certify where the logs are coming from and that harvesting is done in a discipline manner.
GFC Commissioner, James Singh, had expressed optimism that Guyana would be able to make some headway this year. Guyana has received a commitment by the UK Agency for Environment that they will be reopening the dialogue.
Following the discussions, Singh said an invitation will be issued to the UK authorities to visit Guyana to observe operations in the industry. The GFC has completed a detailed plan on Guyana’s greenheart production.
“We did a very comprehensive paper on the stocking of greenheart in Guyana: the amount that was harvested, the amount remaining and we found that there is absolutely no threat to the sustainability of greenheart,” Singh has said.
The government had mounted a national response with a committee consisting of the Ministries of Natural Resources, Foreign Affairs, and Business, to lobby the UK to lift the ban.
Guyana has been working with the EU on finalising its European Union Forest Law Enforcement Governance and Trade (EU FLEGT) Voluntary Partnership Agreement (VPA). The conclusion of the negotiation is very critical for the holistic development of Guyana’s forestry sector.
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