Ministry of Natural Resources and the Guyana Forestry Commission on actions supporting the LCDS 2030

The Low Carbon Development Strategy (LCDS) 2030 is a framework for achieving a fair, inclusive, sustainable and prosperous Guyana that rises to the challenge of building a low- carbon economy. In line with these objectives, the Ministry of Natural Resources has undertaken a National Forest Restoration Initiative (NFRI). The overall objective is to implement a coordinated approach to forest restoration, utilising native tree species in mined-out, degraded and deforested areas in Guyana.

The Guyana Forestry Commission (GFC) and the Guyana Geology and Mines Commission (GGMC) are collaborating on the implementation of the NFRI. This is in keeping with the tenets of the LCDS on exploring options for land reclamation and reforestation of mined areas under the commitment to sustainable forestry and low-impact mining. By using the NFRI to restore forests using indigenous tree species, these activities can now incorporate alternative livelihoods for forest-dependent communities.

Works have commenced in Region 10 in the Dakoura area, where approximately 23.3 hectares (ha) of land will soon be replanted with native species. Tauroniro, Simarupa, Baromalli, Bloodwood, Awati, Kabukalli, Trysil, Kaditiri, Soft Wallaba, Futui and Fukadi are currently being piloted. To date, a total of 1,484 seedlings of 11 species were planted in 11 ha, with approximately 1,660 more to be planted before February 2024. To support this activity, two Seedling Stations have been established, one at the Yarrowkabra Training Centre on the Linden Soesdyke Highway and another in Wismar Linden. Here seedlings collected from natural forests are hardened for planting at the restoration sites.

A key component of this process is community involvement and capacity building.  Youths from the West Watooka, Silvertown and Half-Mile areas have received training on seedling collection, seedling station care and management, out-planting and restoration site monitoring and management. Three individuals from these communities are currently working with the NFRI team to manage the Wismar Seedling Station and the Dakoura Pilot Site. This component is envisioned to continue throughout the life of this project.

The NFRI Team has also begun data collection to analyse species performance, and site performance and assess the current methodology used. Information collected from this pilot site will inform future restoration initiatives undertaken.

Overall, the NFRI, – and by extension, the LCDS 2030 – stands as a beacon of hope for restoring Guyana’s ecosystems while empowering local communities. Through its holistic approach and ongoing community involvement, it not only addresses environmental concerns but also lays the groundwork for a more resilient and harmonious future in the region.

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