With Guyana placing more of its forests for conservation purposes and with moves to ‘green’ the economy, the Government yesterday announced that it has approved the restructuring of the Guyana Forestry Commission (GFC).
According to the Ministry of Natural Resources, which has portfolio responsibilities, the restructuring would be in keeping of the national objective of moving towards a ‘green’ economy and the consequent realignment of critical agencies of state.
The approval comes from Cabinet.
Already, a Task Force has been established jointly between the Ministry and the Board of Directors of the GFC to address the reorganising and restructuring of the commission.
Guyana has an area of 214,970 km2 of which nearly seventy-five percent is covered with natural vegetation. Of this area, approximately four-fifths is classified as state forests under the jurisdiction of the GFC.
Almost a decade ago, Norway in a ground-breaking arrangement agreed to pay Guyana US$250M for keeping the country’s forest intact while at the same time taking steps to reduce deforestation rate. The arrangement was to reduce the impact of climate change using the forest and the greenhouse gas that is trapped.
Under the Coalition Government, consecutive national budgets have unveiled a “green” economy.
According to the Ministry yesterday, the Task Force will include the technical and administrative talent and personnel of the Ministry of Natural Resources, the Board, and the Commission who will examine the structure and functioning of the GFC to make recommendations to the Minister, Raphael Trotman. He in turn is mandated to present a report to Cabinet.
The Task Force’s mandate shall include, but will not be limited to, an examination and evaluation of current job descriptions and performance standards, personnel procedures, conditions of employment and appointment, wages and salary structures and payroll administration.
“It will further aim at improving the efficient performance and effective management of the commission by identifying training and development opportunities for staff.”
The Task Force is expected to submit to the Minister of Natural Resources a work schedule with timelines and a preliminary report that would complete this assignment no later than July 2019.
The Convenor of the Task Force is the Forest Carbon Partnership Facility Project Coordinator (FCPF), Clayton Hall, the ministry said.
Hall was a former senior forestry official with years of experience.
The GFC is responsible for advising Trotman on issues relating to forest policy, forestry laws and regulations. The Commission is also responsible for the administration and management of all State Forest land.
The work of the Commission is guided by a National Forest Plan that has been developed to address the forest policy.
The Commission develops and monitors standards for forest sector operations, develops and implements forest protection and conservation strategies, oversees forest research and provides support and guidance to forest education and training.
The GFC is governed by a board of directors appointed by the President.
The board is responsible for the performance of the functions conferred on the Commission by the Forests Act.
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