Production in the forestry sector is experiencing a shift in trend with more small and medium-scale operators upping their role in the sector. In fact, 85% of Guyana’s total forest sector production now comes from small and medium scale operators of which, between 20 to 25 come from indigenous and forest-based communities.

This is a significant change in trend from pre-2016, when over 50% of production came from foreign operators and large concessions.

This was noted today by Natural Resources Minister, Raphael Trotman, who was delivering remarks at the Opening Ceremony of the Budgeting/Accounting Training for the National Steering Committee of Community Forestry.

The minister said that in order to build upon this trend, works must be done to boost the capacity of the operators. In this vein, the minister said that his ministry is diligently working on making the sector more conducive for operations.

“This is so whether you are a small concession holder with a chain saw operation or a large concession holder exporting to foreign markets. It is our belief that increasing your capacity to manage in the midst of evolving contexts, will better prepare you to embrace the growth and change in the sector and allow you to participate fully as you move forward,” said Trotman.

He also spoke about the initiatives taken to facilitate capacity building among small and medium-scale operators. The minister said that during the first half of 2019, the government carried out a number of initiatives to strengthen compliance.

Training was provided to 62 Community Forestry Organisations representing 543 members, of which 35% of the participants were women. The training allowed the groups to bring themselves in compliance with the requirements of the National Insurance Scheme (NIS), and as a result, over 10 groups have submitted evidence of their compliance with NIS to the Guyana Forestry Commission.

The minister said that this is also a significant step towards community groups satisfying the social requirements under the Guyana Timber Legality Assurance System and sustaining their socio-economic livelihood.

Trotman lauded the contribution made by operators while pointing that the forestry continues to be a significant contributor to Guyana’s economy, both as a source of generating revenues for the country and providing a livelihood for Guyanese.


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