Minister of Natural Resources, Vickram Bharat, was pleased to announce during the budget 2020 debates that Guyana has completed the negotiation phase for a Voluntary Partnership Agreement (VPA) under the European Union’s (EU) global programme on Forest Law Enforcement Governance and Trade.
The Minister said that this agreement will create greater access and more lucrative market opportunities for Guyana’s forest products in the EU and other markets while noting that the VPA will be tabled in Parliament soon.
During his remarks, the politician said that Guyana’s forest offers a range of goods and services in addition to timber. Taking this into account, he said it is the intention of the government to further explore the potential on capitalizing on these alternatives. The official said that the previous bilateral partnership on forest and climate between Guyana and Norway provides a platform for exploring similar opportunities.
Under this partnership, an estimated USD $30-40M was earned annually from standing forests. Minister Bharat said that this indicates the level of opportunity that may be available from environmental services and non-timber production. On this note, the Parliamentarian said that the national scale Monitoring Reporting and Verification System (MRVS) will continue to be implemented and will allow for a robust mechanism to validate implementation of sustainable forest management practices.
He said that the Kingdom of Norway has already signaled its intention to the new Government to support the work of the MRVS through another grant in a multi-year arrangement (2020-2024). Guyana Standard understands that the MRVS also provides a robust basis for the country’s reporting on its commitments under the Paris Climate Change Agreement.