DPI, Guyana, Wednesday, September 27, 2017
The Forest Producers of Guyana engaged members of the media in a seminar to sensitise them on the Voluntary Partnership Agreement (VPA).
A VPA is a legally binding trade agreement between the European Union and timber-producing countries outside the EU; that seeks to ensure timber and timber products exported to Europe are acquired from legal sources.
The agreement also aids timber-exporting countries in the cessation of illegal logging by improving regulations and governance of the forest sector.
Project Coordinator, Khalawan, noted that the seminar is to update the media on the state of the Voluntary Partnership that Guyana and the EU are expected to sign later this year.
“We planned this program in a way that the media can extend the information countrywide…one of the objectives of the VPA is to get everyone involved and let everyone know what the VPA is about.”
Facilitator of the seminar Mona Bynoe, who has been involved in the forestry sector for several years, believes that the media plays an important role in disseminating accurate information to the public.
The workshop is part of a project aimed at building capacity for media workers to be message-multipliers and accurate reporters of the VPA.
She believes that the seminar will serve to improve the quality of reports from the media on the EU FLEGT VPA. “The knowledge of the media is critical because if you don’t know then you send the wrong message to the public and sometimes you know but your perception is not right, so again they get a different idea. So, our task here today is to help you to be aware of the VPA.”
Meanwhile, Deonarine Ramsaroop President of the Forest Producers Association of Guyana, expressed his belief that the VPA can rebrand the entire forestry industry since it sells itself as legal and sustainable timber, and that is the key for Guyana to sign on to the V.P.A.
According to Ramsaroop, “The world is changing, the people who are buying these products are changing they wanted to see that we produce timber from legal and sustainable sources and this is the key so it’s very important and pivotal for you as the media to understand the VPA and its role as a country and as we try to move forward to develop Guyana”.
Ramsaroop also suggested that each media house select a point person to receive updates on the VPA from Forest Producers Association. He underscored the importance in reporting accurately since these articles will be read by international agencies in support the VPA.
By: Natasha Smith.