Forestry Research Associates (FRA), a research and analysis
consultancy, has reported on the decision from the Guyana Forestry Commission
to introduce new restrictions on the export of logs and lumber.
FRA said the decision has been a somewhat controversial one as some of the
forestry industry operators, and particularly the firms that carry out the
exports themselves, claim they were not consulted on the decision.
The Forestry Minister, Robert Persaud, explained the decision to Demerera Waves
Online News: “It is not a total ban but it is to ensure that we have adequate
supplies for the local market and we have much more value added activity being
The restriction on the export of logs will be implemented as of 1 September,
according to FRA, whose analysis partner, Peter Collins, stated, “Although we
understand the need for Guyana to ensure it has adequate stocks of timber for
domestic use, the decision to restrict the export of logs to the extent that it
has is causing some major concern in the industry.”
FRA added that the forestry industry accounts for ten per cent of the country’s
GDP and, as such, the export ban could threaten the economy. Local forestry
firms are calling for the government to deal with the increased demand at home
by upping production, rather than banning exports. Mr Collins added, “It seems
that a more sensible approach to meeting domestic demand in Guyana would be
further investment in developing the country’s sustainable forestry industry in
order to grow production and ensure that the people of Guyanna benefit as
FRA cited the successful sustainable forestry investment projects being run in
Brazil, such as those operated by Greenwood Management, which help supply
timber for the domestic market as well as more than enough for export.
Bulkan Timber Works Inc’s owner James Bulkan, told Demerera that he would have
to close his lumber woks and may have to lay off 300 staff if the ban goes
ahead in its current form. He suggested that the government could have given
producers an ultimatum to put ten per cent of their logs aside for domestic
users, or face a ban on exports.
Forestry Research Associates
620 Vineyard Lane
Bainbridge Island, WA 98110