Mar 23, 2021 News
– as Ministry sets aside $250M for forest inventory database
Kaieteur News – The Ministry of Natural Resources in conjunction with the Protected Areas Commission (PAC) has announced plans to seize all equipment being used by illegal loggers and miners found to be operating in protected areas. In addition, it noted that legal actions will be instituted to prosecute those found guilty.
The warning was made public yesterday by the Ministry, which has since called on “all miners and loggers carrying out illegal operations within designated Protected Areas to cease forthwith.”
These areas include the Kaieteur National Park, Iwokrama, Kanuku Mountains, Shell Beach, and the Konashen Amerindian Protected Areas.
In a statement, it was noted that the Ministry of Natural Resources, the Guyana Geology and Mines Commission (GGMC), the Guyana Forestry Commission (GFC) and the PAC continue to receive reports of illegal mining and logging in Protected Areas, particularly at the Kanuku Mountains, Iwokrama and Kaieteur National Park.
According to the Natural Resources Ministry, “these illegal activities are not in keeping with the various Acts that govern these regulatory agencies.”
The warning by the Ministry comes a day after the country observed International Day of the Forests being observed under the theme, ‘Forest Restoration—a path to recovery and well-being.”
Substantive Minister with responsibility for the sector, Vickram Bharrat, in his message to commemorate the day, had underscored that the ruling administration is committed to maximizing the returns from the vital resource in keeping with the principles of sustainable management.
Guyana, he said, has recorded one of the lowest deforestation rates globally of just 0.070 percent—having never exceeded the one per cent mark.
He used the occasion to announce too, that his Ministry has approved in its 2021 expenditure some $250M to undertake a National Forest Inventory (NFI).
This initiative, he said, “was deemed necessary for Guyana in order to boost planning capability of the forestry sector and maximize the potential of our rich, tropical, multiple forest use.”
He said that data secured from the NFI will be analysed to provide much needed forest resource statistics and environmental benefits for reference databases that will directly enable evidence based forest management and planning.”
He reminded too, that the country has made significant progress with the European Forest Law Enforcement Governance and Trade Initiative (EU/FLEGT) that captures the parameters of strong forest governance, sound environmental principles, legality and wide stakeholder input.
According to Minister Bharrat, it is expected that EU/FLEGT licences will be issued in another three to four years.
He noted too, that Guyana is also exploring becoming a member of the Programme for the Endorsement of Forest Certification.
Bharrat said, “This, in tandem with the FLEGT, will give assurance of legality and sustainability to consumers.”
Additionally, the Minister reminded of the five-year National Log Export Policy ending in 2025 that will allow for the consolidation of log exports by concession holders, saw millers and timber dealers.
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