Mining activities are accounting for 85 percent of Guyana’s deforestation and degradation rates while logging is responsible for 2.5 percent.
This is according to Natural Resources Minister, Raphael Trotman, who noted that despite these numbers, Guyana continues to maintain a low deforestation rate.
“It shows that we are striking a good balance between mining and forest operations and rather forest conservation. So under our agreement with Norway in 2017 we certainly recorded the lowest rates which is historic. So Guyana has been pointed out, as recording good figures, good stewardship of its forest,” he noted.
Trotman explained that there cannot be mining activities without some disturbance of the land and that this is not an indictment on the part of miners but it is a simple fact.
According to the Minister, better stewardship and better management has resulted in lower rates of deforestation in Guyana.
“Also, correspondingly with lower rates of deforestation we are also seeing higher yields in gold production. So between 2016 and 2018 we have crossed the 600,000 ounces’ mark repeatedly. Before 2015 the highest declarations of gold were 456,000 ounces and we are now over 600,000 ounces, so gold production is up but deforestation is down.”
Minister Trotman acknowledged that while there is notable progress in these areas, works still need to be conducted in the area of reclamation in relation to gold mining.
“But the miners will tell you that they are only recovering right not even 50 percent of gold so they are going back to some of those tailings as they call them to rework them so the Guyana Forestry Commission (GFC) and the Guyana Geology and Mines Commission (GGMC) are working to narrow that gap. So yes ,it is a high rate but at the same time as I said we are doing better in terms of our deforestation rates as well,” he noted.