The Guyana Forestry Commission (GFC) is executing an audit of the forestry sector’s performance for 2018, under its programme of Independent Forest Monitoring (IFM).

GFC Commissioner, James Singh, in an advertisement, said that the IFM is an independent assessment which takes place every two years. It audits the forest sector’s performance on several internationally recognized principles, criteria, and indicators of forest legality.

Specifically, the audit programme will provide stakeholders with an independent evaluation of the adequacy of Guyana’s forest law enforcement systems; how the systems are being implemented; and legal compliance by stakeholders based on the specified criteria for monitoring, which include a methodology validation – conformity of the law enforcement systems in place against applicable validation criteria.

The GFC Commissioner said that the audit is ideal as it complements GFC’s forest law enforcement activities with the objectivity and public credibility of an independent third party while ensuring continual improvements in transparency and accountability, and contributing to the development of a sound legislative and regulatory framework for responsible forest management.

He said, too, that the Independent Auditor for 2018 is Soil Association Certification Ltd., a UK based, accredited body. James said that the audit is being conducted over the period: February 18 to March 1, 2019.

The GFC Commissioner said that any stakeholder desirous of contributing to this exercise can do so by sending feedback, comments, questions, and submissions to the auditors from now until March 1 to forestryconsultation@soil.org.

He said that all submissions are received directly by the auditors through a dedicated email address and will be treated confidentially.

In its 2017 report on Guyana’s forestry sector, the UK firm said that illegal activities in the forestry sector and the rate of deforestation and degradation were generally low at that time compared with other International Tropical Timber Organization (ITTO) producer member countries.

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