First Guyanese forest FSC-certified

1 November 2016

The Guyanese greenheart trade has been boosted with the first FSC forest certification in the country.

The news of certification of the 3,710km2 Iwokrama forest comes as the Guyana Manufacturing & Services Association (GMSA) and the country’s authorities have been stepping up their lobbying against the UK Environment Agency’s (EA) ban on Guyanese greenheart.

An EA briefing note issued last year stipulated that Guyanese greenheart had insufficient evidence of coming from sustainably-managed forests so would not be accepted for its projects.

The Soil Association said it had been working closely with Iwokrama International Centre for Rainforest Conservation and Development (IIC) in Guyana for the past few months and issued the FSC certificate on October 14, guaranteeing all greenheart from Iwokrama’s forest as FSC-certified and therefore meeting UK government requirements.

The forest area is roughly the size of Cornwall and is rich in greenheart and purpleheart. Half is kept as a wilderness preserve and the rest is for sustainable use, using reduced impact logging techniques and less than 10 trees per hectare being removed.

Soil Association said as the forest certification programme grows and the benefits of certification become evident, local forestry and logging companies would be encouraged to follow suit.

IIC received funding for FSC certification from the German government in 2014 and were keen to regain international recognition for its sustainable forest management.