Commissioner General of the Guyana Forestry Commission (GFC), James Singh, this morning told stakeholders that while there are no signs for the lifting of the ban on export of greenheart logs to the European Union (EU), there has been a commitment on the EU’s part to reopen dialogue in efforts to move forward.
He made the statement while responding to questions at a presentation of the revised National Forest Policy and Plan to forestry stakeholders.
Singh also explained that they have scheduled a video conference with the representatives from the EU following which a site visit would be facilitated.
Additionally, he informed the stakeholders that a study was done and it was found that there are no threats to the sustainability of greenheart. The findings of that study was presented to the representatives of the EU.
Government has been in talks with United Kingdom, since the ban came into effect in 2015, to have it reversed.
Greenheart exports to the UK went from US$3.2 million in 2014 to US$1million in 2015.
Ever since the ban came into effect, the Guyana Manufacturing and Services Association (GMSA) labelled it “unfair” and called for a review.
It was pointed out by the GMSA that given that the markets for tropical forest products were declining and proving challenging: “Incorrect labelling of our forest management practices in this negative way can only be detrimental to the future lives and livelihoods of the 25,000 people directly employed in this industry.”
The International Tropical Timber Organisation (ITTO) had identified Guyana as one of only six tropical forest-producing countries in the world practising sustainable forestry management at the forest-concession level.