A local Forest Law Enforcement Governance and Trade (FLEGT) facilitation support office will be set up in Guyana as the country works towards finalising its European Union (EU) FLEGT Voluntary Partnership Agreement (VPA).
The office is being established by the Department for International Development (DFID) and will provide much needed resources for support activities elaborated in the joint road map which developed during the negotiation process, Commissioner of the Guyana Forestry Commission (GFC) James Singh said.
Participants of the EU-FLEGT workshop pose for group photo.
“It also allows for a better appreciation of critical follow up activities that needed to be planned for now and later on in the implementation stage,” added the Commissioner.
Singh was speaking at the launch of FLEGT seminar. Guyana is hosting the two day FLEGT seminar at the Pegasus Hotel, Georgetown under the theme,“Sharing Regional Lessons on VPA Processes: Transitioning from Negotiations and Implementations”.. Participants were gathered from the African continent and Latin American countries,FAO representatives,representatives from the national Toshaos Council9NTC0 and other stakeholders in the forestry sector.
FLEGT aims to reduce illegal logging by strengthening sustainable and legal forest management; improving governance and promoting trade in legally produced timber through the EU’s FLEGT action plan which was established in 2003.
Guyana began negotiations with the EU on the FLEGT VPA in 2012 and hopes to finalise negotiations at the end of this year before moving to the implementation stage. “Importantly Guyana sees the FLEGT process as a tool not only to access the EU markets, but one that will also improve our governance within the sector and across sectors,” Singh said.
Permanent Secretary of the Ministry of Natural Resources, Joslyn McKenzie said conclusion of the negotiation is very critical towards the holistic development of the sector. McKenzie was speaking on behalf of the Minister of Natural Resources who holds oversight responsibility of the forestry sector.