Why do business with the Guyana Forest Industry?

The Forestry Industry of Guyana is one of the traditional industries that has contributed throughout the history of economic development of the country. The country has earned international recognition for the quality of Sustainable Forest Management (SFM) practices which has been realized by strong regulation from the Government and quality compliance from the industry. The International Tropical Timber Organization (ITTO), has rated Guyana amongst the top SFM countries in the world within the tropical region. How prepared is Guyana for stricter international procurement policies? Guyana has always seen itself as a self-starter in terms of responsible forest management. To date Guyana has been signatory to all the key conventions in relations to eco-system management and social protection of civil society. There has been no sustained direct market pressure against Guyana timber products internationally for decades. The general neo-procurement policies originating from the Western and European regions of the world affect less than 20% of our exports. This however has never limited our scope in attaining higher levels of credible legality and responsible management. Guyana began addressing some of the current day issues approximately 15 years ago with the introduction of the log tracking system, Codes of Practices for harvesting, quota system, competitive land allocation and of recent the Low Carbon Development Strategy. This strategy has lent itself to the commencement of the Voluntary Partnership Agreement (VPA) negotiations with the European Union to establish a Forest Law Enforcement Governance and Trade system for Guyana. Currently, trade with the United States under the Lacy Act and with the European Union under the European Union Timber Regulations (EUTR), seems unhindered using the existing national due diligence processes. This is credited to the industry’s quality of compliance with the strong regulatory controls in place. This is an excellent indication of the low-risk associated with Guyanese timber against strict procurement policies. This level of self-esteem places Guyana as a frontrunner producer in markets that are sensitive towards responsible and legal sourcing of timber. Complementing this accolade is the fact that our timber species of medium to high density originates from natural tropical forest. There are certain unique natural features such as texture, colour, finishes and durability that are attractive about these species. The diversity of species in the tropical forest allows for a wide range of applications. Application potential ranges from toothpicks to heavy structural timber in marine environment. Most species have natural durability against fungal and insect attacks. There are other species that are structurally sound and can be treated for increase longevity. Colours range from light brown, dark brown, yellowish, pinkish reddish, grayish mixtures along with the unique purple colour of purpleheart (Peltogyne spp.). For decades these features have captured the interest of markets in North America, Europe, Caribbean and the aggressive Asian markets. Since the economic downturn in North America and Europe the Asian markets have been showing a keen interest in the usability of our species. We have seen several foreign companies establishing a presence in the upstream forest activities with the proposals to develop value-adding activities. The valueadding sector has tremendous scope for developing in line with international market needs. There is potential investment opportunities to develop products such as flooring, wall paneling, ceiling, structural timber, pre-fabricated house and veneering where a variety of species can be utilized under a common user group. This can be fueled by an investment into a consolidated log stockyard where value-added manufacturing can form a direct linkage. Concomitantly, there are opportunities for several types of cottage industries such as briquettes, tool handles and other waste recovery products that can enhance the value chain of production. There are certain key organisations that can provide assistance and support with such initiatives including Guyana Manufacturing & Services Association, Forest Products Association, Forest Products Development and Marketing Council, Forestry Training Centre Incorporated and the subject regulator:the Guyana Forestry Commission. These organisations are working toward public private partnership to address training needs, value-adding development, product development among addressing international procurement requirements.

In summary, now is the opportune time to join the Guyana forest industry whether as a buyer or as an investor. Few tropical countries can present such a healthy combination of positive features in favour of trade and industry internationally. Linkages can be made with large, medium and small base operators at the primary and secondary levels. For those stakeholders with a marketing strategy to source timber products from community based operations, there are several such groups ready to do business. Guyana offers your business several advantages, so feel free to explore.

Promoting wider application of Guyana’s Lesser Used Wood Species

Better Utilization of the Lesser Used Species Guyana’s forests are extremely diverse consisting of more than 1000 tree species of which, approximately fifty (50) are marketed on a commercial basis. There are species that are lesser used but are well known on the markets however, these may not be readily available in large quantities. Generally, species that are abundant on the local market for home construction are those that have been used traditionally for many years such as Greenheart and Purplehart. In some parts of the country where greenheart is not readily available such as Berbice /Corentyne, other species such as Kabukalli and Mora are well accepted. However, other commercial species such as Shibadan, Tatabu and Manniballi etc. are often accepted and are sold as mixed species.

Many of our lesser used species are suitable and probably even better than the ones generally used for example, Kereti Silverballi and Simarupa are popular for noggins for ceilings. These can be replaced by other species of Silverballi such as Gale, Kurahara and Wabima Silverballi which are also suitable since they have similar properties. Additionally, species that are low density such as Huruasa, Jack in the Box, Karohoro, Kirikaua, Korkororo, Kuyama, Kurokai, Long John, Maho, Mahoballi, Maporokon, Suya, Ulu, and Wadara are suitable for similar applications. Brown Silverballi and Yellow Silverballi are used in boat making but other species equally good for this purpose are Determa, Koraroballi, Kurahara, and Wadara. Potaro Kakaralli, Wina Kakaralli, Kauta and Kautaballi are all excellent for in house construction of beams, as well as boards and planks
Maporokon, Itikiboroballi, Darina, Morabukea, Limonaballi, are excellent for house frames as well as cabinets and cupboards. Wallaba is the traditional species for electric poles but this species though abundant is becoming expensive due to several cost factors.

Alternatives are Black Kakaralli or Potaro Kakaralli. Munideran, Futui, Dalli, Duka, Dukali, Haiariballi, Bartaballi and Kurokai are excellent for mouldings.

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