Policy and legal framework
Additionally, both the policy and legislative framework have been recently updated taking into account current national/international advances. this was done via a thorough participatory and consultative process involving national and international stakeholders/partners.
These policy and legislative documents include the Guyana Forestry Commission (GFC) Act, Forests Act, Low Carbon Development Strategy (LCDS), National Forest Policy, National Forest Plan, National Log Export Policy, National Log Tagging and Log Tracking System, GFC Codes of
Practice-ForestOperations, Processing, Non Timber Forest Products; and Guidelines for the Preparation of Forest Management Plans/Annual Operational Plans. All of the above can be accessed at the GFC’s website: www.forestry.gov.gy
The GFC does significant extension work to promote the understanding of the policies, plans and guidelines to all direct and indirect stakeholders. GFC also does very comprehensive monitoring to verify the level of implementation and compliance. the facts show that adherence to the policies/plans/guidelines is very satisfactory. This has also been verified by international auditors who have done independent forest monitoring. Also, satellite imagery at 5 m resolution has confirmed that Guyana’s rate of deforestation/forest degradation is a mere 0.08% even though commercial harvesting has been on-going for decades. Because of these, market access is not a problem. This conducive environment has resulted in Guyana having an excellent international profile as a source of forest products harvested from legal and sustainable sources; evidence of this is shown by the fact that the International Tropical Timber Organization (ITTO) has recognized Guyana as one of the few tropical producer countries that is implementing sustainable forest management at the level of the Forest Management Unit (concession level). Further, FAO has mentioned Guyana as one of the countries that has demonstrated exemplary forest management. to ensure that there are no future barriers to trade, the Government of Guyana has advanced on several initiatives which further demonstrate to the global community, our commitment to forest legality and sustainability, social and environmental best practices. These include, Independent Forest Monitoring (IFM), Reducing Emissions from Deforestation and Forest Degradation (REDD+), EU Forest Law Enforcement, Governance and Trade (EU FLEGT). Investing in the Forestry Sector Guyana has vast forest resources that cover more than three-quarters of its landmass and contain over 1,000 different tree species. Currently, 120 species are being logged in various forms; between 30 and 50 of these being logged on a commercial scale. The most sought after species include Greenheart (Chlorocardium rodiei), Mora (Mora excelsa and Mora gonggrijpii), Baromalli Catostemma spp.), Purpleheart (Peltogyne spp.), Crabwood (Carapa guianensis), Kabukalli (goupia glabra), and Wamara (Swartzia leiocalycina). Whilst Guyana is traditionally known for its export of timber in raw or semiprocessed forms, the Government and stakeholders of the forest industry have placed an emphasis on promoting value-added forest product production for export to the Caribbean, U.S, Europe and other markets. There are a number of comparative advantages similar to those found in other light manufacturing industries, such as affordable and trainable labor, as well as attractive investment incentives.