By Jomo Paul
[www.inewsguyana.com] – The Natural Resources Ministry on Wednesday, April 29 launched the European Union (EU) and the Food and Agricultural Association (FAO) funded Forest Law Enforcement Governance and Trade (FLEGT) Programme aimed at increasing compliance with logging laws and regulations from small loggers in Guyana.
It was explained that the project is aimed at developing a pilot timber harvesting and forests monitoring model for small loggers associations to improve compliance with the forest laws and established forest management prescriptions in Guyana.
It was noted that in addition to capacity increases, the project will allow its beneficiaries to assistance from computers GPS devices, measuring tapes and a host of other tools specific to the forestry sector.
Natural Resources and Environment Minister, Robert Persaud delivering remarks at the launch, noted that it is important for participants to take full advantage of the opportunity being offered to them to grasp a complete knowledge of logging best practices established in Guyana.
According to the Minister, the modules and policies adopted for use by the regulatory agencies are in accordance with international best practices pointing out that those processes are always open for criticism and scrutiny from local and international stakeholders.
He made it clear that contrary to reports in media, the government does not employ any policy that would see international investors in the logging sector being given preference over local investors.
“I want to refute any perception that there is preferential access to non-Guyanese…if we discriminate we discriminate in favour of Guyanese communities….we don’t want Guyanese operators within the community to be left behind…that is why we are building capacity,” he told the small gathering of miners.
Meanwhile, FAO representative, Rueben Robertson said that the project will forge a path to brining “serious benefits and dividends to the beneficiaries.”
On the part of the FAO, it was pointed out that it is expected that the project will bring about increase capacity for the loggers and help them to adhere to logging regulations.