GFC to implement quality standards for forestry companies

The Guyana Forestry Commission (GFC) will soon implement the Guyana National Standards for Forest Certification, enabling local companies within the forestry sector to gain international forestry certification.
Speaking with this publication on Sunday, Commissioner of Forests at the GFC, Edward Goberdhan said the standard has already been completed and is currently in the accreditation process.

GFC Commissioner of Forests Edward Goberdhan

“We’ll have it endorsed by an international certification body. So local companies in Guyana could start [using] that standard and gain international forestry certification. The standard has been completed but it has to go through an accreditation process which will take…at least 6-8 months. Later this year or next year it will be operational,” Goberdhan shared.
He added that similar to the “Made in Guyana” standard mark and ISO certification, it will be a certification for the forestry sector. “It will be a standard for forestry companies, logging companies, and other companies,” he shared.
According to Goberdhan, the standard which was introduced over two years ago, will help in markets and aid in improving the quality and sustainability of the forestry sector in Guyana.
During a Guyana National Bureau of Standards (GNBS) event last month, Goberdhan had encouraged the GNBS to become a member of the International Accreditation Forum (IAF), so that the organisation can be up-to-date with new developments in the forestry sector.
While delivering his remark he shared how their membership would help to better companies in the local forestry sector.
“We also encourage the GNBS to become a member of the International Accreditation Forum, which is the forum that accredits auditors to do [an] international audit. Currently, and very soon, we are in the development stage of a…Guyana National Standards for Forest Certification, where it will be endorsed by one of the international bodies so companies can apply and use that standard; but they will have to get an auditor accredited by an international accrediting company.
“So, it’s an opportunity for GNBS if they become a member of the International Accreditation Forum so they could accredit auditors to audit companies in the forestry sector,” Goberdhan explained.
It was reported that in March 2021 the GFC engaged a group of stakeholders on the establishment of the certification system for approval by the Programme for Endorsement of Forest Certification, also known as (PEFC).
On the global market, the PEFC is a recognised forest management and chain of custody certification system that can be used to demonstrate sustainability in addition to the legality of timber and timber products.
Natural Resources Ministe, Vickram Bharrat shared that “The Government of Guyana is convinced that the development of the national certification system is important. It adds to our efforts to showcase our sustainable forest management practices and gain greater acceptance in the globally demanded markets.”
He added that the Government of Guyana is convinced that a certification system will complement the work done through the Guyana – European Union Forest Law Enforcement, Government and Trade Agreement, and will create more opportunities for operators in promoting and marketing their products, particularly in markets that require verification of both legality and sustainability.