Toshaos, loggers benefiting from sustainable forestry management workshop

DPI, Guyana, Wednesday, June 12, 2019

Toshaos and community logging associations representatives of Regions 1, 2, 7 and 10 are benefitting from a capacity building workshop in management, monitoring and evaluation, to ensure adherence to the European Union Forest Law Enforcement Governance and Trade (EU-FLEGT) process.

The two-day workshop, which opened at the NTC’s Hadfield Street office on Wednesday, is aimed at building the administrative and managerial capacity of the participants who will ultimately play a leading role in ensuring adherence to the EU-FLEGT process within Indigenous communities.

Training is part of an agreement between the Food and Agriculture Organisation of the United Nations under the FAO EU-FLEGT programme and the NTC for promoting sustainable forestry in Indigenous peoples’ communities through capacity building and direct participation in the EU-FLEGT Voluntary Partnership Agreement (VPA) process.

Toshao of Kimbia and Chairman of the Region 10 Regional Council, Ricky Boyle noted that the programme has already made a difference within the Upper Demerara-Berbice Region (Region 10) community. The NTC already conducted a scoping meeting in the area.

Toshao Boyle told the Department of Public Information (DPI) that the villagers, many of whom are involved in the forestry sector, are very interested in the project since they are seeking out markets for their produce. “If they can get a direct market to EU instead of going through a middle man that would be a great benefit to my village… the people are dependent on the forest.”

He explained that the loggers are hopeful that through the EU-FLEGT VPA project, EU buyers can have a direct exchange with them. Hence, he noted the importance of the training to ensuring the right products are supplied and that the buyers’ requirements are met.

Romeo Smith, Toshao of Karrau Village, Lower Mazaruni, Region 7 noted the importance of training like this to ensure that the village council understand the EU-FLEGT process and sustainable forest management. Smith said he will be engaging the loggers in his village about the programme.

The FAO EU FLEGT programme promotes the implementation of the FLEGT Action Plan by improving forest governance, providing technical assistance and building capacity through funding for projects in eligible countries. Guyana received some $104M (US$49,990) for the project.

Minister within the Ministry of Indigenous Peoples’ Affairs, Valerie Garrido-Lowe, FAO Country Representative, Gillian Smith and the EU Delegation, Representative, Frederico Suarez were also present at today’s event.

Images: Tejpaul Bridgemohan