Guyana’s forest management system one of the best worldwide – Bharrat

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An aerial view of Guyana's forest cover

With over 87 percent forest cover, Guyana boasts one of the best forest management systems in the world, said Minister of Natural Resources, Vickram Bharrat on Monday.

Minister Bharrat was at the time delivering remarks at the launching of a week of activities in commemoration of International Day of Forests 2022, at the Guyana Forestry Commission (GFC), Kingston, Georgetown.

He said there have been tremendous efforts to conserve and protect Guyana’s forest, and the GFC and the Protected Areas Commission (PAC) have played a significant role in this regard.

“It’s always so difficult to balance the extraction of natural resources with the preservation or protection of the environment. That is one of the more difficult tasks there is, but with our system in Guyana we have been doing a good job and we will continue to do our part in saving the world. We will continue to keep our forest standing so that the world can breathe.”

The Minister said that in the context of the conversation on climate change, the country must continue to focus on the sustainability of its natural resources, and examine ways in which it can carry out its mining, logging and petroleum activities while continuing to be carbon neutral.

“Guyana is a blessed country because we are now an oil producing country, but yet we are carbon neutral and that is something many countries who are producing oil cannot boast of,” he said.

Minister Bharrat noted that Guyana’s forest can sequester 19.5 gigatons of carbon. The entire world carbon emission for power generation is about 13 gigatons carbon dioxide. This means that Guyana’s forest can offset the carbon emission for the world’s power generation.

To this end, he said the reintroduction of the Low Carbon Development Strategy (LCDS) 2030 signals a further commitment by the Government of Guyana to ensure the country play its role in the protection of the biodiversity of Guyana and by extension, the world.

The new and extended programme, which is still in its draft stages, was launched by His Excellency Dr. Mohamed Irfaan Ali last year. It seeks to create a new low-carbon economy in Guyana by establishing incentives which value the world’s ecosystem services, and promote these as an essential component of a new model of global development with sustainability at its core.

The United Nations General Assembly proclaimed March 21, International Day of Forests in 2012, to celebrate and raise awareness of the importance of all types of forests.

This year, the GFC has planned a series of activities to commemorate the day including a mini exhibition of forest products at its Kingston office. Outreaches will also be held in Regions Three, Four and Six, under the theme, ‘Forests and Sustainable Production and Consumption.

Meanwhile, Mr. Godfrey Marshall was recognised for 50 years of service to the GFC.

Also present were British High Commissioner, Jane Miller, Canadian High Commissioner, Mark Berman and other members of the diplomatic corps, as well as members of the private sector and other stakeholders within the forestry sector.