Natural Resources Minister commits to assisting Orealla, Siparuta loggers to increase production
Minister of Natural Resources, Vickram Bharrat, MP has committed to assisting loggers in Orealla and Siparuta, in Region Six to increase their production. This comes on the heels of requests by residents during meetings in the two riverine Amerindian communities on Tuesday.
The minister said access to land for logging is something that has been affecting residents who depend on the sector to make a living. Residents were assured by Minister Bharrat that he will meet with the Guyana Forestry Commission (GFC) to look at available concessions.
“We will try to address it as best as possible where we can find more land, that the villages can produce more because now you would have entered into a good contract with Barama and the Government has been working with Barama so that they can increase their operation.”
Minister Bharrat said the demand for building materials is increasing and will continue to do so due to Government’s housing drive, the hotels under construction and the oil and gas sector.
“So, we want to work with you so that you can play a part in the development and you can produce more so that the village earns more, you prosper, the Guyana Forestry Commission is in a better position and Guyana as a whole can develop,” he said.
The minister said over the years, Guyana has been lacking in its logging production. He highlighted that based on the Paris Agreement on Climate Change which Guyana has signed on to, the country is allowed to cut 1.2 million cubic feet of its forest each year. However, he said Guyana has never reached 50 per cent of the allowable harvest of the forest.
“So, there is so much room for us to increase production in the forestry sector and that is something that we want to do,” the minister stated.
Meanwhile, the Natural Resources Minister noted that aside from providing lands for logging, Government is working to ensure that persons have access to their lands. He added that the road that Government is constructing from Orealla to Kwakwani in Region 10 will not only open lands for logging, but will also create the necessary access.
Minister Bharrat also told residents that he will be in discussion with the Barama Logging Company to provide loggers with the requisite equipment to move their produce.
Nevertheless, residents were encouraged by the Minister, as they go forward to think about adding value to their produce so that they can earn more.
Residents were then given the reassurance that Government remains committed to growing its non-oil sectors. Minister Bharrat said this includes, agriculture, tourism and logging which the two communities have depended on for decades.