Forest operators trained in Environmental Authorization process

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Over three hundred forest operators were recently trained in the Environmental Authorization (EA) process, which is one of the first documents required before utilizing any forest resources.

The workshop concluded on Friday and was funded under the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), Food and Agricultural Organization and European Union Forest Law Enforcement, Governance and Trade (FAO-EU FLEGT) Programme.

A total of 312 forest operators were trained to provide assistance to Community Forest Organisations (CFOs) and Forest Sector Operators (FSOs) on the EA process in Guyana.

Senior Environmental Officer with responsibility for the Forestry Sector, Karen Small explained that the EA is a legal document with terms and conditions to ensure that developmental activities do not cause adverse impacts to the natural environment and human health.

“In 2018, we received funding to a total of US$110,000 to carry out capacity workshops. After the workshops have been concluded and capacity is built, our intention is that they apply for the EA. The Project last for 15 months and we were able to reach 312 forest operators and build capacity in all regions except Regions 5 and 8,” Small said.

The workshop also highlighted the EPA’s quest for environmental sustainability under the EU-FLEGT Voluntary Partnership Agreement (VPA).

The EPA collaborated with the Guyana Forestry Commission (GFC) to ensure that FSOs and CFOs were operating within the established parameters of the EPA.

Minister of State Dawn Hastings- Williams said the management and sustainable utilization of forestry resources continues to be important to the Government’s developmental trajectory.

She noted that the Government has made strategic efforts toward environmental conservation and management.

“As we develop our forest resources and the Government [builds] a dynamic and resilient economy, economic diversification is critical. The Government, therefore, challenges forestry operators to be innovative and creative in their operations; utilize the lesser value species and minimize waste within their concessions. Guyana has the ability to meet the demands of local and internal markets with diverse, high-quality timber sustainably harvested,” the Minister said.

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