The $250 million budgeted for the National Forestry Inventory Programme would allow the Ministry of Natural Resources to better manage the forestry sector.
Minister Hon. Vickram Bharrat made this statement during an appearance on NCN’s “Budget in Focus” on Saturday.
The Minister said the Programme would help the Government plan better when allocating concessions. It would also lessen the likelihood of persons receiving non-profitable concessions.
The Guyana Forestry Commission (GFC) legislation and the National Forest Policy require the GFC to effect forest management strategy to effectively plan for the sustainable and optimal utilisation of Guyana’s forests. Inventories are essential for management planning, concession allocation and utilisation of the forests.
“It will help us when we’re allocating concessions to the people, or the companies, so that we don’t allocate a concession which is a savannah…. What it intends to do is to map out each area so we will actually know in this particular area as in how many trees of certain diameters there is, and what the species are because we have probably over 1,000 different species in the Guyana, but only use a few.”
Some of the benefits of the Inventory programme include identifying areas for conservation and protection, integrating forest inventories with GIS/Remote Sensing technology, using empirical national forest data to design specific technologies for the monitoring of Guyana’s forests and providing a reference dataset on forest resources for long-term monitoring and decision-making.
Minister Bharrat added that it would help the Government to determine the production level to expect from one concession.
‘This will give us a good idea. As to our stock in the forests, which is very important.”
The Minister also said the Government would continue to encourage the exportation of lesser-known and used timber in 2021, which the Inventory Programme would be employed to track.
The last National Forest Inventory was executed some 50 years ago. The GFC rolled out the National Forestry Inventory Programme in 2019 as a multi-year project to collect field data from all administrative regions except for Regions Four and Five. While some work was completed in Region Ten in 2019, work will resume this year to complete the region before the teams move to Regions Two, Three, Six and Nine.