EPA engages Community Forestry Organisations in Region 10
Forty two (42) representatives from the Kwakwani, Ituni, Aroaima, Hururu, Great Falls and # 58 Miles Mabura communities benefitted from capacity building workshops under the European Union Forest Law Enforcement, Governance and Trade (EU FLEGT) programme. As part of EU FLEGT programme, the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) facilitated two workshops in Kwakwani and #58 Miles Mabura, Region 10, respectively, focused on sensitising forest operators on Environmental Authorisation process. The overall aim of the programme is to ensure that all forest operators become authorised in keeping with Section 14 of the Environmental Act. In accordance with Section 14 of the Environmental Protection Act Cap. 20:05, laws of Guyana, before development consent is given, in this case the harvesting and utilisation of forest resources, an Operator must first seek approval from the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA). This approval is in the form of an Environmental Authorisation which is a legally binding document to guide forest operators on best environmental practices before and during harvesting and utilisation of forest resources.
During the workshop, participants were enlightened on the role and work of the EPA and members were guided on how to fill out the Environmental Authorisation application form. The practical aspect of the workshop saw Officers from EPA’s Waste Management and Air Quality programmes leading practical exercises on noise, air quality and waste management. Officers engaged participants on the major areas of concerns for the Agency and recommended mitigation measures to protect human health and the environment.
Similar workshops will be held in the other Administrative regions to equip Community Forest Organisations with the relevant knowledge and skills to become authorised and remain compliant. The Agency will also continue to work closely with the Guyana Forestry Commission (GFC) to ensure monitoring and compliance.