Gov’t urges exportation of unpopular wood species to combat deforestation

The Guyana Government is encouraging the exportation of unpopular wood species while restricting exportation of the more popular ones, among which are greenheart, purpleheart and kabukalli.
Guyana has over 1000 wood species, and among the lesser known or not regularly used ones are letterwood, bullet wood, crabwood, tatabu, shibadan, tauroniro, mora, dukali, keriti, silverballi.
Natural Resource Minister Vickram Bharrat has said the move is part of an effort to sustain Guyana’s deforestation rate, which is currently the second lowest worldwide. According to the minister, this change is supported by Guyana’s Log Export Policy, which was instituted in 2009 and allows the country to meet the local and international demand for wood.

Natural Resources Minister Vickram Bharrat

“It enables us to earn from the exportation as well as to satisfy the local demand on the market, which has increase significantly. Our deforestation rate is at 0.306; our intention is to keep it there, or carry it down even further. Our commitment in the Low Carbon Development Strategy (LCDS 2023) is 0.07 percent, which is way above what we are right now,” Minister Bharrat has said.

Even though this initiative would play an integral role in sustaining the sector, the minister has reaffirmed his position on the need to expand value-added production. He is contending that investing in value-added products could be the key to ensuring long-term viability of the forestry sector, and has as such issued a call for local, regional and international companies to invest in a furniture factory and other innovative ideas that would propel the sector’s revenue.
“We need a recognized world-class furniture factory in Guyana, so that these hotels that are being built right now, they can purchase furniture right here from Guyana instead of importing it. Which will create opportunities for Guyanese, because it actually means you can set up that…furniture factory,” he has posited.
President Dr Irfaan Ali recently announced that Government would be embarking on a venture to create wood-based homes to cater to those in that particular niche market. The project, being executed by Dura Villa Homes Guyana, would be constructing 50 homes for Trinidad and Tobago, 500 homes for St Vincent and the Grenadines, 25 homes for St Lucia, and 100 homes per month for Barbados.
These eco-friendly, resort-style homes would feature an exotic blend of natural landscaping and modern architecture, as well as locally-sourced trees, to give its residents a full ‘Amazonian-style’ living experience.
The homes to be constructed in the Caribbean countries aforementioned starts from Gy$10 million, or US$50,000.
The wood work and engineering for the structures are conducted in Guyana and shipped to these countries where they would be put together.
They include a variety of bedrooms, baths, vaulted ceilings, covered porches, hardwood cabinets, and open floor plans, among other amenities for sustainable and contemporary living.