The information technology (IT) infrastructure at the Guyana Forestry Commission (GFC) has been strengthened with significant support from the United Kingdom (UK) Government.
The additional technology will support the commission’s strategic objectives and international obligations, providing compliance information as required under the European Union – Guyana Forest Law Enforcement Governance and Trade/Voluntary Partnership Agreement (FLEGT /VPA).
Permanent Secretary at the Ministry of Natural Resources, Joslyn McKenzie received the new equipment and applications from UK Minister of Overseas Territories, Commonwealth and Energy, The Right Honourable Lord Goldsmith, on Wednesday, during a simple ceremony held at the GFC’s head office, Georgetown.
McKenzie said while the system is nestled at the GFC’s headquarters, it will assist a number of agencies through a synergistic approach.
“This IT system will enable the efficient data and information management, but more importantly, it will allow for effective decision making and at all level of the commission’s operation and also provide strong foundation for ongoing policy initiatives in the sector.”
Accordingly, he stated that the implementation of the expanded system will further drive the commission’s involvement in the recently signed carbon credit agreement between the government and Hess Corporation.
The permanent secretary said UK has always been a close and ardent supporter of the GFC and its forest stewardship efforts.
The UK Minister emphasised his government’s commitment to continue partnering and strengthening its relationship with Guyana to reach its future ambitious agenda.
“You don’t need us to succeed, I can see that… But if we can help in any way… we are at your service and we are here to partner up as much as possible. You are already world leaders; you have unlocked the secret of protecting nature while at the same time taking care of the interest of the people who depend most directly on that nature,” he stated.
In 2020, the GFC expressed the need to enhance its information management system and to establish an integrated system that would effectively capture, store, retrieve, analyse and present information and data.
With funding and support from the UK’s Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office through the European Forest Institute’s Technical Assistance Project (EFITAP) in Guyana, experts undertook an evaluation of the existing IT Infrastructure and system to move towards a more integrated system that builds on the various existing components in a modular, phased and sustainable manner.
Following the assessment mid-2021, the team made several recommendations, most notably, that the infrastructure required improvements or upgrades to ensure and maintain system security, connectivity, and the seamless operation of existing and future systems.
As such, the GFC received assistance under three priority areas for upgrading the infrastructure: upgrades to the GFC primary data centre, support to GFC’s headquarters and field offices and establishment of a Disaster Recovery Centre within the GFC.