As part of the European Union Forest Law Enforcement, Governance and Trade (EU FLEGT) Programme, the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) conducted the final three workshops in Regions Three and Four. Seventy participants from eleven Community Forest Organisations (CFOs) benefited. These workshops were held at the Guyana Forestry Commission (GFC) training facility in Yarrowkabra, Region Four and the Caria Caria Community Centre, Region Three.
Through the Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO)-EU FLEGT funded project “Providing Capacity Building Assistance to CFOs on the Environmental Authorisation Process in Guyana”, the Agency conducted twelve workshops over a five-month period in eight of Guyana’s administrative regions. These workshops were attended by 319 persons, including loggers, community members, women, and youths from 48 CFOs.
This project utilised awareness and capacity building as a means of supporting forest operators on the process involved in obtaining an Environmental Authorisation in accordance with the Environmental Protection Act, Cap 20:05, Laws of Guyana and the EUFLEGT-Voluntary Partnership Agreement legality definition (Annex11). This initiative involved a series of exploratory meetings in all relevant administrative regions, followed by workshops with the identified stakeholders.
Throughout the workshops, participants were enlightened on the role and work of the EPA as well as the Environmental Authorisation process. CFO representatives were also guided on how to properly complete the Environmental Authorisation application form. In addition, officers from EPA’s Waste Management and Air Quality programmes led practical exercises on noise, air quality and waste management. Officers engaged participants on the use of the noise meter and other equipment used in the fields; as well as mitigation measures to protect human health and the environment. The Guyana Forestry Commission and Regional Offices were also represented at the workshops.
What is an Environmental Authorisation?
An Environmental Authorisation is an “Environmental permit, a prescribed process licence, a construction permit or an operations permit,”— Environmental Protection Act Cap. 20:05, laws of Guyana
As is relates to forestry activities, it is a legally binding document to guide forest operators on the best environmental practices before and during harvesting and utilisation of forest resources.
The EPA is the only agency in Guyana with the authority to grant Environmental Authorisation.
Do I still need an Environmental Authorisation if I have a licence from the GFC?
Yes, although the Guyana Forestry Commission has jurisdiction for the forest, you still need an Environmental Authorisation to ensure all aspects of your operation protects human health and the environment.
The Agency advises all persons involved in developmental activities to be proactive and apply to the Agency for Environmental Authorisation to safeguard your health, the environment and your investment. The Agency will aggressively be pursuing defaulters in 2019 and is advising all those persons who have expired permits to have them renewed promptly to avoid prosecution.
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