This weekend’s Guyana Timber Expo will focus on the use of lesser known wood species as well as how best to cut them, the Guyana Forestry Commission (GFC) said at the launching of the three-day event yesterday afternoon.
Commencing from 4:30 pm tomorrow, the tarmac of the Guyana National Stadium, Providence, is expected to be packed with patrons and stakeholders of the forestry sector, as some 30 exhibitors will showcase their services, techniques and products under the theme “Expanding Markets for Guyanese Timber Products Through Public Education, Awareness and Sensitisation to Promote a Greener Guyana”.
According to Kenny David, Manager of the Forest Products Development Marketing Council of the GFC, they strongly believe that the country has the quality of products to satisfy not only the local market, but also the international market.
“What we want to achieve is to let even us, in Guyana, appreciate what we have to offer and the quality of products that are available here. We want to let the general public to be able to have an exposure on what we have in the country,” David said.
He also explained that in addition to a full range of forest products which will be available at the expo, persons will be able to witness the processes that the timber is put through to produce the various end products.
“A few sawmills will be set up that will demonstrate the best methods of cutting so that the people will get more than seeing stuff but also get an opportunity to understand the process. It will be educational,” David added.
He also pointed out that there will be seminars on Saturday and Sunday which will feature talks from such key stakeholders in the forestry sector as Iwokrama and the World Wildlife Fund, among others. These organisations are expected to explain how their work impacts the forestry sector and individual citizens.
The Central Housing and Planning Authority (CH&PA) will also play a key role at the exhibition, as one of the goals of the Timber Expo is to expose the lesser known species to the public and to show them different ways in which they can be used in construction and other applications.
“One of the things we want to push is the lesser known species and the Housing Authority have come on board in a big way to showcase the use of that timber and to help us have a better appreciation of how much work is being done. Hopefully that will give the stakeholder a chance to make some key and critical linkages so that going past the expo, a lot more that can grow and come forward will be visible,” David noted.
He also stated that contractors, architects, craftsmen and women and other persons who use timber and timber products have also been invited to the exhibition and the Commission is hoping that persons who are only linked to the sector through building of their homes will also be able to understand that “sometimes it requires more than just seeing.”
A number of other agencies including the Guyana Geology and Mines Commission are also on board and will have various booths to share information on what they do and how it affects the forestry industry.
“People visiting will not only understand timber but also the process from the forest straight to the market. The idea is to use it as a learning exercise,” David added.
James Singh, Commissioner of the GFC, made brief remarks at the launch of the event and said that the expo should be used as an example of exemplary Public-Private partnership. According to Singh, since from the planning committee stages they have had the participation of 16 different organisations, with ten representing the Private Sector and the remaining six from government.
Chairman of the Board of the GFC, Jocelyn Dow also spoke and emphasised that they are encouraging the youths who are involved in the forestry sector to come out and take part in the expo.
“We want to encourage the young people who are at technical institutions, the young woodworkers who may think it’s beyond them… Especially those not getting exposure to come out and have an opportunity to get exposure,” Dow said.
The expo opens tomorrow at 4:30 pm and goes until 10:00 pm on opening night, whilst the times for Saturday and Sunday, are from 10:00 am to 10:00 pm. Admission is free.