The GFC’s data on forestry in Guyana are misleading

Dear Editor,
The arithmetic presented by Minister Robert Persaud (‘IDB forest project kicks off,’ Kaieteur News, November 13, 2008) for the forest area annually logged and its production obscures rather than reveals the unsustainable forest harvesting in Guyana.

According to the semestral Forest Sector Information Report on the website of the Guyana Forestry Commission for January-June 2008, there are 1,509,000 ha of 2-year ordinary State Forest Permissions (SFP) and conversion State Forest Permissions, 71,000 ha of 8-year Wood Cutting Leases (WCL), and 4,675,000 ha of 25-year Timber Sales Agreements (TSA).

Converting these figures to annual harvest areas gives a total of 950,000  ha, which is very nearly six times larger than Minister Persaud’s 160,000  (this 950,000 is calculated by dividing the SFP area by 2, the WCL area by 8 and the TSA area by 25, and summing the results).

The Minister suggests an allowable log production of 1,200,000 cubic metres (m3) from those 160,000 ha, an average of 7.5 m3 per ha as against the GFC Code of Practice limit of 20 m3/ha.  However, Minister Persaud says that only 500,000 m3 are cut (GFC published 516,000 m3 roundwood equivalent from logs and chainsawn lumber in 2007), an average of 3.1 m3 per ha.

What these contrary figures, and the GFC website, conceal is the continued massive unsustainable logging of the heavy coloured timbers which should be retained for conversion in our own industries in Guyana, according to national policies and the PPP/C 2006 manifesto, but which continue to be exported in raw form to China and India.  For example, purpleheart is being overcut at a rate some 30 times its natural ability to regenerate.  China recorded imports of 28,300 m3 of logs from Guyana during the same January-June 2008 when the GFC published total log exports of 37,400 m3.  That is, China took 76 per cent of these logs to make the furniture and flooring which we could be manufacturing and exporting from Guyana. It is disingenuous to use averages to explain the forestry situation in Guyana because some of the most important timber trees are closely associated with particular kinds of soil and topography.

What does the Minister mean when he says that “Guyana has a deliberate policy of sustainable management of its natural resource” and “Guyana as having some of the best conserved and best utilised forests in both the Guiana Shield, as well as in the Amazon Region”?
Yours faithfully,
Janette Bulkan


Lowe’s conclusion on case before CCJ was spurious

Dear Editor, In reaction to Mr Sherwood Lowe’s letter  captioned ‘Mendez has shifterd the CCJ gaze from Article 1 to Article 9 of the Constitution’ appearing in the Stabroek News of the 20th March, 2018, I would wish to submit that in my respectful recall the learned counsel for the Respondent in Richardson v Attorney General and Trotman asseverated that, in the absence of a credible definition of the terms “democratic” and “sovereignty” in Articles 1 and 9 of the Guyana Constitution, the court was required to construe these terms.

A stint in Parliament does not prepare anyone for proper management of a government ministry

Dear Editor, Our system of government is supposed to be the Westminster system, but it is not in use in Guyana today.

This society needs to embrace more liberated and progressive thinking

Dear Editor, Milton Bruce’s letter ‘The Editor-in-Chief makes all the decisions’ (SN, March 20) refers.

Realistic solutions not rhetoric are needed to bring relief to the sugar workers

Dear Editor, Regional Executive Officer of Region Six, Ms Kim Stephens, is reported in the March 19, 2018 Stabroek News, during her remarks at the ceremony to honour the Rose Hall Martyrs on March 13, 2018, “that that severed sugar workers are ‘timid and afraid’ of diversification”.

Government did not provide $68M in the national budget for the IDPAD conference

Dear Editor, It would be remiss of me not to address the Guyana Times article of March 9, 2018: ‘Govt yet to receive report on $68M IDPAD conference’, since it is either a malicious article or one in which the author is wallowing in ignorance.


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