Press Release – FAO-EU FLEGT Programme supports improving FLEGT readiness of Amerindian Villages

-aims to promote best practices and monitoring of timber production

The Guyana Forestry Commission (GFC) with aid from the United Nations’ Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) European Union Forest Law Enforcement Governance and Trade (EU FLEGT) programme launched a project and conducted Training of Trainers that targets the improvement of livelihoods of Amerindian Villages involved in commercial logging. The project titled, “Improving FLEGT readiness of 23 Indigenous communities through increased awareness of related regulation,” aims at strengthening compliance with labour, income tax, social security, forest management, environment, and wood tracking system requirements under the legality definition for Amerindian Villages.

At the virtual launching, stakeholders were reminded of the importance of the project in advancing Guyana’s efforts in implementing the FLEGT VPA. It was also pointed out that the FAO has been a reliable partner for supporting this and other initiatives at the community level, which is critical to VPA for all sources of timber are equally important.

As part of the project, strict COVID-19 measures would be observed during community engagements. Toshaos connected to the meeting shared their appreciation for the project and suggestions for its smooth implementation. Some suggestions included screening of facilitators prior to entering communities. Similarly, training sessions were held in well-ventilated areas.

This project will see a joint effort among VPA agencies: Guyana Forestry Commission, National Insurance Scheme (NIS), Guyana Revenue Authority (GRA), Department of Labour (DoL), with the support of the Ministry of Amerindian Affairs (MoAA) to conduct awareness training on mandatory requirements and promotion of best practices in monitoring and reporting of timber production. It is envisioned that this partnership will see a more integrated and synergistic approach to the implementation of forest legality standards.

The Training of Trainers sessions was attended by representatives of the partner agencies that would directly be conducting the training exercises in the communities. Participants were informed of the importance of consistency with information shared with communities, use of graphics and non-technical language during presentations among others.