Green State Development Strategy “more than planting trees” – Department of Environment Head

─ two projects totalling $15.8Million launched with FAO-EU/FLEGT support

─ projects aim to monitor timber imports, build capacity assistance for Community Forest Organisations

DPI, Guyana, Thursday, August 9, 2018

Two projects totalling $37.5 million (US$180, 000) falling under the auspices of the Food and Agriculture Organisation-European Union/Forest Law Enforcement, Governance and Trade (FAO-EU/FLEGT) programme were today launched.

The projects titled “Providing Capacity Building Assistance to Community Forest Organisations (CFOs) on the Environmental Authorisation process in Guyana” and “To develop due diligence guidelines for the Importation of timber and timber products under the EU/FLEGT VPA” are being implemented through the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) and the Guyana Forestry Commission (GFC) respectively.

Head of Planning and Development of the GFC, Pradeepa Bholanath said the project dealing with timber imports is critical since it will allow imports that form part of the value chain to meet the desired standards as stipulated for those originating locally.

“When they are part of added value products, or in circumstances where they are re-exported that they can also stand up to the same elements of legality and the tests of the chain of custody as wood that originate from Guyana,” she noted.

Chairperson of the GFC Board of Directors, Joycelyn Dow lauded the element of reciprocity in the project, noting that “it is very good that we also know that there are protocols, laws and other mechanisms that are needed for imports.”

For the project that addresses capacity building assistance for CFOs, Acting Director of the EPA, Khemraj Parsram said the agency’s role is to ensure sustainable management of the country’s forest resources through partnerships and concerted effort as is the case with the project.

According to Parsram, “monitoring forests sustainably means increasing their benefits including timber and food to meet society’s needs in a way that conserves and maintains forest eco-systems.”

Head of the Department of Environment (DOE), Ndibi Schwiers said, the project fits into the development narrative of the country since it is happening at a time when Guyana is in the advanced stage of developing the Green State Development Strategy (GSDS).

Schwiers said the GSDS is more than planting trees, “it has to do with fostering the sustainable, inclusive, resilient, low carbon green growth of the country.”

As stewards of the environment, the DOE head said the agencies have a responsibility of ensuring that it is not adversely affected by any project undertaken.

She expressed hope that the project can be used as a model for projects in the other sectors.

By: Stacy Carmichael

Images: Giovanni Gajie

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