The recent call from civil society group Article 13 for the government to ban the exportation of logs and provide full disclosure on foreign companies working in Guyana’s forestry sector, has been cut down by the Guyana Forestry Commission which sees the call by the group as “emotional”.
The group made the call following President Ali’s recent address to the United Nations Climate Change summit in Scotland where he committed to a 70% reduction in greenhouse gases by 2030.
Guyana is also a signatory to the Glasgow declaration on forests, where it has committed to climate deforestation. The group said while the position and statements made by the President are commendable it does not reflect the situation in Guyana.
But the Guyana Forestry Commission differs.
In a statement, the GFC said under sustainable forest management standards, Guyana continues to perform an essential service in climate balance through carbon storage and sequestration explaining that Guyana’s forests are properly managed.
“Similarly, the false assertion that His Excellency President Dr. Irfaan Ali was duplicitous at COP 26 whilst calling for a ban on log exports is presumptuous and reckless at its very least. Firstly, Cop 26 was not about country positions but rather a global call for reduction of emissions. Guyana’s forests, managed by the Guyana Forestry Commission (GFC) under sustainable forest management standards continue to perform an essential service in climate balance through carbon storage and sequestration,” the Forestry Commission said in a statement today.
Explaining that Guyana has had a log export policy in place since 2006, the Forestry Commission said that the export of log has not been doing any harm to the country’s forest.
The GFC noted that current levels of log exports are below 20% of actual production and the remaining 80% of logs produced are available for local sales, for processing and are used in the domestic economy and for export as finished and value-added products.
“The rates charged per m3 of logs exported have been continuously adjusted upwards and currently, the rates are among the highest compared with other tropical timber-producing countries. It is of great interest too that log bans have proven to be ineffective in many other countries; if not implemented in conjunction with other measures it will quickly destroy the sector as it can lead to a glut in the market and lowering of prices thus forcing producers out of business,” the GFC said.