Guyana has recorded its lowest deforestation rate to date of 0.048 per cent. This achievement was announced by the Guyana Forestry Commission (GFC) during a press conference hosted at the Commission’s Water Street, Kingston Office.
Head of Planning and Development of the GFC, Pradeepa Bholanath said this new deforestation rate augurs well for the Guyana/Norway Forest Agreement.
“The deforestation rate at the start of the agreement which was in the year 2010 reflected at a rate of 0.056 per cent … to the rate we are now reflecting for 2017 which is 0.048, a significant decrease from the start rate of the partnership,” she noted.
This translates to a total area of deforestation of 8, 851 hectares. Bholanath said this compares to some 13,000 hectares which was recorded in the peak year, 2012.
The new deforestation rate, she explained, is good news for Guyana since it indicates that across all main drivers which include infrastructure, mining, agriculture and forest fires, “we have seen a decrease in every single one of these drivers particularly for the largest driver, which is mining deforestation,” Bholanath pointed out.
The Head of Planning and Development said this is also reflective of the effectiveness of policy implementation in both the mining and forest sectors.
Her sentiments were supported by Chairperson of the GFC’s Board of Directors, Joycelyn Dow, who praised the interagency collaboration as one of the main contributing factors.
Administrator to the Ministry of Natural Resources, Beverley Alert commended the GFC for the work being done thus far, while noting the evolving pattern of sustainable forest management.
The GFC completed mapping of the year 2017, forest change from deforestation drivers. This assessment is part of the national programmes of Monitoring Reporting and Verification (MRV) that Guyana started in 2010 with support from the Norwegian Government.
It also forms part of the Guyana/Norway partnership on climate and forests.
In 2010, the deforestation rate stood at 0.056, 2011; 0.054; 2012, 0.079; 2013, 0.068; 2014, 0.065; and 2015/2016, 0.050.