The Ministry of Natural Resources (MNR), the Guyana Forestry Commission (GFC) and other partners launched the national learning event titled ‘Forest Regulator Workshop: Changing Roles in a Changing Climate’ on Monday, December 05, 2022, at the Guyana Marriott Hotel.
The two-day workshop, which ends on December 06, 2022, provides a forum for forest regulators and those within the forestry sector to re-examine their roles and responsibilities and discuss the challenges they experience in delivering on a broader mandate which extends beyond timber extraction and includes forest regulation, forest economics and livelihoods and forests and climate.
The workshop brings together national public and private-sector participants, including Forest Sector Operators (FSOs) and international stakeholders, from Ghana, Indonesia, Gabon, Guatemala, Trinidad and Tobago, Suriname, and other countries. Participants will learn from each other’s experiences and lessons and build collaborative networks. Furthermore, the event aims to facilitate dialogue between the government and forest sector stakeholders to review the changing role of forest regulators and sharing of experiences by participants.
In delivering the event’s first opening remarks, Minister of Natural Resources, the Honourable Vickram Bharat, M.P., assured stakeholders that sustainable and responsible logging and forest management efforts will continue in line with Guyana’s Low Carbon Development Strategy (LCDS) 2030. “Forests are central to Guyana’s domestic and international policy frameworks”, Minister Bharat said. He added that the “Government recognises the opportunity to strengthen regulatory capacity and to include stakeholders in that strengthening process” for Guyana “to fulfil its commitments on time to the Guyanese people and the world at large”.
The event also included remarks from Her Excellency Jane Caroline Miller (OBE), British High Commissioner to Guyana, the Honourable Ambassador René van Nes, Head of Delegation of the European Union, Dr. Gillian Smith, Representative of the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations and Mr. Edward Goberdhan, Commissioner of Forests (ag.), GFC.
Increased focus on the multiple uses of forests, including its role in climate change and importance to forest-dependent communities, will place greater demand on the GFC in addition to its regulatory function. For example, the Nationally Determined Contributions (NDCs) and climate financing identify forests as a key element to Guyana’s global climate-related commitments. The GFC will play a lead role in these processes and non-timber forest economics.
It is also recognised that the oil and gas industry’s impact and opportunities, while boosting the government’s reserves, allow Guyana to engage in forest conservation while strengthening the livelihood prospects of forest-dependent communities, including the Indigenous peoples.
The GFC has progressively utilised stakeholder engagement approaches to continuously improve its governance systems to ensure compliance with national laws and international market trends.
In 2014 Guyana hosted its first VPA experiences and lessons learned event, ‘Sharing Experiences on the FLEGT VPA Process’, with representatives from several countries. Similar events were hosted in 2016, 2018, 2020 and 2021, providing a forum for alliance-building and partnerships, knowledge-sharing, and research in the timber-producing countries.
This event is co-organised by the MNR, the GFC, the European Forest Institute (EFI), the Palladium Group, the United Kingdom’s Forest Governance, Markets and Climate (FGMC) Programme, the Forest Products Association of Guyana, the National Steering Committee for Community Forestry Associations (NSCCFO), the Guyana Manufacturers and Services Association, and the National Toshaos’ Council (NTC). Funding for the event is provided by the UK’s Foreign, Commonwealth & Development Office (FCDO).
The workshop is live-streamed on the Guyana-EU FLEGT VPA Facebook at 9:00hrs (UTC-0400) daily.
To learn more, visit www.euflegt.gov.gy, www.forestry.gov.gy or the Guyana-EU FLEGT VPA Facebook page. You can also contact the FLEGT Secretariat at 592-226-7247 or 223-5135 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.