Amerindian group gets $41.8m from EU to boost role in forest management process

The European Union [EU] is granting the Amerindian Peoples Association $41.8M to help bump up its involvement in a new forest management process.

A release from the EU office here yesterday said that the two sides signed a Grant Agreement for a total of 150,000 Euros.

The release said that the support forms part of the ongoing work programme by the EU and the Government of Guyana on the national Roadmap for the EU Forest Law Enforcement Governance and Trade [FLEGT] process. This project aims to support the active participation of the Amerindian communities in the FLEGT’s  Voluntary Partnership Agreement [VPA] development process in a way that supports the national Roadmap and builds synergies with the work of the National Technical Working Group, which is the  coordinating body for EU FLEGT in Guyana.

The release said that this highlights the continuous commitment of the EU and the Government of Guyana to assure, in partnership with the Guyana Forestry Commission, the active participation of all stakeholders in the VPA process.

The FLEGT VPA talks began with the first negotiation session held in Georgetown on 5 December 2012. The process is slated to end with an agreement by September 2015.

The VPA aims to promote sustainable forest management by ensuring forest legality and securing access to European markets for legally-harvested and sustainable Guyanese forest products.

This project will build the capacity of specific Amerindian Village Councils and villagers, indigenous peoples’ organisations and civil society so that they become actively engaged in the FLEGT VPA discussions at the local and national level. It will also enable their effective participation in the development and implementation of the FLEGT VPA in Guyana.

According to the release, the project will focus on Regions 6, 7, 8, 9 and 10 and will have duration of 24 months.

FLEGT had also been recommended for Guyana under the forest partnership with Norway.

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