Iwokrama Forest retains coveted FSC certification

The Iwokrama Rain Forest

The Iwokrama International Centre for Rain Forest Conservation and Development (Iwokrama) has announced that it has received confirmation that the Iwokrama Forest has retained its Forest Stewardship Council™ (FSC™) Certification for Forest Management for the Iwokrama Forest.

Iwokrama received similar recognition by the international auditors in 2008 and then again in 2016 and maintained these credentials throughout the first and second phases of its timber harvesting operations.

This followed a surveillance visit conducted by Soil Association Certification Limited of the UK during September 2019.

The Iwokrama Forest was the first forest to have maintained this certification in Guyana.

This has raised the bar for forest management in the country and according to Iwokrama, “we are also pleased to announce that other forest managers have followed suit so that there now two other forest management certificates and three chain-of-custody certificates in Guyana.”

FSC™ certification is the highest international accolade that Forest Managers can receive and it is testament to the Centre’s application of international social, ecological and environmental best practices in its management of the Iwokrama Forest.

During the annual surveillance assessment, Iwokrama received two major corrective actions which were successfully closed today. Non-compliances are a normal part of any assessment process and based on the severity of the non-compliance with the standard, it could prevent the applicant from being certified.

In recent years many international buyers and consumers have increased demands for proof of forest products being sourced from well-managed forests. Currently, all of the major global markets require some sort of certification for imports.

To this end the European Union and the Government of Guyana are also pursuing a Voluntary Partnership Agreement (VPA) on Forest Law Enforcement Governance and Trade (FLEGT) which will allow more access of Guyana’s wood to EU member countries. The FSC™ brand in particular is highly recognized globally for its independent assessment, and for its opinion on products that have been produced in a more environmentally friendly manner.