Guyana’s pristine forest covers over 85% of the country, contains over 5GtCO2 in above ground biomass, and is estimated between 18.416 million hectares (WRI) and 18.695 million hectares (UN FAO). The great majority of Guyana’s forests are suitable for timber extraction and currently over 50% of the forest is allocated to some form of production.
The Guyana Forestry Commission being the State Agency to plan and manage the State Forest Estate, has made efforts in the past to enhance sustainable forest management and to strengthen important areas such as legality, forest industry and training in harvesting practices. There is currently a lack of national level data to assess forest resources and environmental services in Guyana. This inhibits effective evaluation and planning for natural resources utilization in Guyana. Additionally, the lack of capacity and resources, in some cases, at the community level affects the ability of implement sustainable forest management and reduce deforestation and degradation. This project seeks to address two main areas: conducting, at a demonstration level, an assessment of forest resources and environmental services including the completion of a feasibility of targeting remuneration systems for environmental services; and secondly, by supporting sustainable forest management and resources utilization at the community level to maintain forest resources and prevent deforestation and degradation.
The outcome of the project will be the strengthening of Guyana’s capacity to manage forest resources and environmental services through resources assessment and monitoring changes in deforestation and degradation. This will allow for planning and management of these resources to be significantly enhanced as will management of deforestation and forest degradation. Also, capacity building exercise will see improved management of forest and environmental resources by target communities and stronger compliance with sustainable forest management practices. These immediate benefits of these will be enhanced ability at the national and community level to manage forest and environmental services in Guyana.