The project arises from the desire of the Government of Guyana to diversify the range of commercial species the country’s wood products sector offers to the international wood products trade. Historically, the focus of Guyana’s wood products sector has been on a few key primary species, principally Greenheart (Chlorocardium rodiei) and Pupleheart (Peltogyne venosa), because of their inherent physical properties of natural durability and strength, as well as suitability as structural and appearance grade timber.
This project builds on Guyana’s efforts to develop and promote its lesser used species, as part of a multi-pronged strategy for managing the country’s commercial forest estate sustainably. Specifically, the project will focus on the assessment, development, marketing and promotion of Cedrela Odorata (locally known as Red Cedar). Historically, Red Cedar has been a valuable timber, with a natural range covering Latin America, the Caribbean and South America. Over-harvesting in some range countries in the region has meant that the species is now considered to be vulnerable according to the International Union for the Conservation of Nature (IUCN). It is also listed on the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species (CITES) Appendix III for the countries of Brazil, Bolivia, Columbia, Guatemala, and Peru.
In Guyana, the species has not been used commercially to the same extent as in other range countries. This project will enable Guyana to undertake an assessment of its commercial forests to determine the status of the species. The outputs from the resource assessment will be used to develop a management plan for the sustainable harvesting of Red Cedar, as well as develop the capacity of the industry to harvest, develop and market the species domestically and internationally; consistent with the objectives of CITES Appendix III Listing.
The project’s development objective is to “Enhance sustainable forest management of the forest sector of Guyana through improved market intelligence and trade of CITES listed timber species.” The Specific Objective is to “Strengthen forest planning and marketing of CITES listed, current and potential timber species from Guyana”. Among the main expected outcomes of the project are completion of a resource assessment of Red Cedar in Guyana’s commercial estate to establish the status of the species; informing a decision on the status of conservation and/or utilization of RED Cedar; development of capacity in Guyana for managing Red Cedar; development of a strategy for developing and commercializing CITES-listed species in Guyana including statistical database; and developing markets for Red Cedar both locally and internationally in areas of added value products.