The European Union (EU) and Guyanese authorities have agreed to a roadmap that will further strengthen their collaboration on several ambitious targets by 2030. These include maintaining sustainably managed forests totalling 12.5 million ha, expanding protected and covered forests by 30 percent by 2023, increasing reforested areas by 200,000 ha, increasing the number of forest-related decent jobs, and maintaining the rate of deforestation of natural forests below 0.1 percent per annum.
Commissioner for International Partnerships Jutta Urpilainen expressed her strong support for the work jointly carried out with Guyana. The official said, “Guyana wants to protect and use its forests sustainably. I am glad that we will continue to work together as partners on this shared ambition. The Forest Partnership will help us reach our joint climate and biodiversity goals, while promoting socio-economic development.”
With Global Gateway, the EU she said has adopted a very comprehensive approach to improving ecosystems around value chains with an objective to produce local added value. The official said this will be further showcased at the upcoming EU-CELAC Summit, where regions will have a prime opportunity to reboot unique partnerships.
Furthermore, Commissioner Urpilainen and Minister of Natural Resources, Vickram Bharrat discussed the next steps of the Forest Law Enforcement, Governance and Trade (FLEGT) Voluntary Partnership Agreement (VPA) after its entry into force in June of this year. This agreement on bilateral trade aims to improve forest governance and ensure harvesting and trade of legal timber. The Commissioner and the Forestry Minister also agreed on the next steps to implement the VPA towards the licensing system.
The Forest Partnership and the FLEGT VPA should help Guyana enhance forest bio-economy and attract public and private investments while contributing to climate and biodiversity objectives and reinforcing the rights of local communities and Indigenous peoples.