First mission in Guyana

As part of the AFD-EU FLEGT Programme led by ETICWOOD and Nature+, Jérôme, the Programme Coordinator, spent two weeks in Guyana. This South American country began negotiating its VPA in 2012 before signing it in 2018. The Programme aims to support Guyana in ensuring that timber from its valuable forests is harvested in accordance with its innovative forestry code based on responsible management. 

Although its forest production is currently modest (around 400,000 m3 in 2021), Guyana’s huge forests covering around 75% of the country’s territory have significant potential for the development of the forest industry. These forests are essentially shared between the State forest domain (allocated or unallocated forest concessions, unallocated lands and National Parks) and Amerindian Reserves. 

The objective of the visit was to become familiar with the Guyanese forestry context, understand its Timber Legality Verification System and learn about the expectations of stakeholders in carrying out the activities of the Joint Implementation Framework (JIF) of the VPA. 

Accompanied by Sebastiaan De Smedt from EFI’s FLEGT facilitation, the mission met with most of the VPA stakeholders (administrations, civil society, financial partners), forest stations, and visited logging sites as well as processing units and timber sales outlets. 

Curious to observe the forest management practiced by an Amerindian community, Jérôme also spent 5 days in the Makushi Community of Rewa. This community has been actively conserving its more than 100,000 ha of forest for nearly 20 years to offer an exceptional ecotourism experience. Between mountains, inselbergs and lowlands, these forests are home to all the emblematic species of the Amazonian fauna.