Citizens urged to have a voice in preservation of the environment

DPI, Guyana, Thursday, March 22, 2018

An event to observe the International Day of Forests saw several women involved in the forestry sector discussing their experiences and achievements last evening, at the Umana Yana. The programme was organised and hosted by the Ministry of Natural Resources along with the Guyana Forestry Commission and the private sector.

Items on display at the exhibition at the Umana Yana.

Chairperson for the Guyana Forestry Commission’s (GFC) Board of Directors, Jocelyn Dow, noted that Guyana was once again reclaiming the renowned title of “Garden Citizen of the Commonwealth.” Speaking of the administration drive to transform the nation into a green state, Dow said the country’s “green agenda is alive and well since the environment has been much improved.”  Dow noted that since Guyana’s forests form part of the Guiana Shield and the country maintains 85 percent of its forest coverage, citizens need to be more involved and have a voice in the preservation of the environment.

The Chairperson reported, “the Guyana Forestry Commission has been working to recognise and add value to the country’s current lumber production. They have also been monitoring of our REDD+ plus commitment, establish new programmes and look into the amount of pine wood that was imported.”

Dow added that Guyana has the lowest rate of deforestation, a sizeable 0.4 percent which the GFC plans to further decrease.

Vanessa Daniels, a logger for over 12 years, who resides in Linden recounted her experiences in the sector that ensured financial stability for herself and family. Daniels encouraged persons to be kind to the forest and “make a difference not just for today but for our children.”

Chairperson, Board of Directors, Guyana Forestry Commission, Jocelyn Dow.

Capoey Village Toshao, Melrose Henry explained that the very existence of indigenous people relies on the forest, “it forged a union with us, that is why we were called the custodians of the forest.” She said however over the years due to carbon depletion and global warming the forest has changed, there are not much species left for harvesting in the village. Henry emphasised that persons must come to the realisation that the forest contributes to a growing healthy world and “without the forest, there will be no Capoey.”

Head of the Department of Environment, Ministry of the Presidency, Ndibi Schwiers, said the country’s transition is guided by the Green State Development Strategy which is currently under construction. She noted that the transition has been going well as the work continues.

United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) Resident Representative, Mikiko Tanaka pointed out that Guyana is “blessed” because forests and trees store carbon, which helps to mitigate the impacts of climate change in and around urban areas, and well-managed forests and trees, in and around cities, provide habitats, food and protection for many plants and animals, helping to maintain and increase biodiversity.

GUYANA’s forests form part of the Guiana Shield, a 1.7 billion-year-old formation which stands as one of the largest blocks of pristine tropical forests on the planet. The government has been on a mission to transform the nation into a ‘Green State’.

World Forestry Day was established in 1971 at the 23rdGeneral Assembly of European Confederation of Agriculture. It was later decided to be observed as an annual event on the 21st of March by the United Nations Food and Agriculture Organisation.

Items on display at the exhibition at the Umana Yana.

Vanessa Daniels, Toshao Melrose Henry, Ndibi Schwiers and Dr. Daniela Raik, Vice President of Conservation International.

 

Forested areas highlighted across Guyana.

 

By: Zanneel Williams

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