32 youth apprentices benefit from reforestation training

Thirty-two apprentices from the Youth in Natural Resources 2022 (YNR) programme, under the Natural Resources Ministry, on Thursday benefitted from forest reforestation and mine reclamation training.

Participants of the GFC-GGMC reforestation training programme

The training, part of a collaborative effort between the Guyana Forestry Commission (GFC) and the Guyana Geology and Mines Commission (GGMC), was conducted at the Yarrowkabra Forestry Training Centre, along the Soesdyke-Linden Highway.

It aimed to edify participants on the importance and preservation of Guyana’s forests and is part of the GGMC’s mandate to mainstream mine reclamation in Guyana’s extractive sector.

It also aligns with Guyana’s Low Carbon Development Strategy (LCDS) 2030 strategy in keeping with sustainable forestry and low-impact mining.

Participants of the training programme, mentors and GFC and GGMC staff, with Minister of Natural Resources, Vickram Bharrat (centre left), at the seedling station on Thursday evening

Speaking in an interview with the Department of Public Information (DPI), YNR apprentice, Sarah Dey, explained that participants received training on taking care of a seedling nursery, which will aid in afforestation and reforestation efforts in Guyana.

“It’s basically that we’re having wildlings, or seedlings, out in the forest, that are easy to grow and manipulate back into the ground to help with reforestation and afforestation…. It’s brought a large amount of training not only to the youths but also what it contributes to the Low Carbon Development Strategy as a whole,” she expressed.

YNR Apprentices Denellcia Dey (far right), Sarah Dey (second right) and Christal Craig (centre) gave their opinions on the training programme

Another YNR apprentice, Christal Craig, stated that the programme assisted her in gaining insight into the LCDS, and seeing firsthand the importance of the GFC and GGMC in maintaining sustainability in Guyana’s forestry and mining sectors.

“It’s really important, going into the future, that we do our best to make sure that Guyana is involved in climate action. It’s really interesting to me, because I’m pursuing a degree in Environmental Studies at the University of Guyana, so I feel like this exposure could really help me in choosing my degree going forward,” she added.

Further, she expressed that the programme helped her in gaining a little more appreciation for the agencies involved in the preservation of Guyana’s natural resources and motivated her to do her part as well.

Another apprentice, Denellcia Dey, who is pursuing a career in Environmental Law, shared a similar view.

“I feel like this programme, with forest regeneration, was such a good thing for me because it helps me to [understand] why I should care for my environment and fight for it more, and to upkeep it,” she said.

She stated that Guyana is a country which sucks up a large amount of carbon, which is even more important given the current climate crisis.

“So, it’s really a boost for me, and for my peers, and I really hope that in the near future, I can help others out their benefit from this programme, and also educate them on why we should maintain and upkeep our forest.”

The joint GFC/GGMC Project aims to create a centralised seedling bank of native forest species to support sustainable and responsible practices within Guyana’s mining and forestry sectors.

A Seedling Station, which was also commissioned on Thursday, aims to aid in the reforestation effort as well. It is located at the Yarrowkabra Forestry Training Centre.