Minister of Natural Resources and the Environment, Robert Persaud has revealed that his ministry is in the process of finalizing the development of a strategic plan for the Natural Resources Sector, along with revising key pieces of legislation that will govern the forest sector.
The Minister made the disclosure this morning, Monday September 9 during the 28th Session of the Latin American and the Caribbean Forestry Commission (LACFC), which Guyana is hosting at the International Conference Center.
The meeting is expected to last for five days and brings together forestry experts from the Latin American and the Caribbean region to discuss the forestry program of the respective countries. LACFC is a key meeting under the auspices of United Nations Food and Agriculture Organisation (FAO).
During the week of interaction, the delegates are expected to share information on their countries’ National Forest Program and also the role of the FAO in the context of sustainable forest management and climate change. A work program for the year 2013 and 2014 is one of the key deliverables of the workshop.
Minister Persaud said the meeting is being held at a time when Guyana has seen rapid and expanding growth of forest based sectors such as timber harvesting and mining, as well as expansions in related sectors such as ecotourism.
“And more recently progress on compensation for ECO services. In the past 9 months, Guyana has seen declared gold production surpass previous years, and timber production increasing when compared to the last two years. These sectors are based in forests and are sustained by continuing efforts in good environmental stewardship and management. As well as internationally accepted organizational management systems for the extractive industry,” the Natural Resources Minister said.
Additionally, President Donald Ramotar in his remarks underscored Guyana’s important role in the LACFC ranging from strong cooperation in trade, negotiation, forestry and other natural resources development, among other areas.
“As such, we see this forum as important to provide aspace for policy level and technical discussions to take place among countries to discuss and address forest issues on a regional basis.”
According to the President, from a national perspective, over the past 5 years, Guyana has recorded continuous growth in its economy, despite a challenging global economic climate. He said this has been due mainly to strong macroeconomic policies and a diverse economic base.