Guyana's booming building industry creates lumber shortages; government to reallocate dormant timber concessions, restrict log, lumber exports after Sept. 1 to stimulate domestic forest products industry

Audrey Dixon

Audrey Dixon

Aug 25, 2011 – Forestweb

LOS ANGELES , August 25, 2011 () – The Republic of Guyana said Monday it will reclaim dormant timber concessions and reallocate them, in one of several moves to access more timber to meet the country's growing need for construction materials, Demerara Waves reported Aug. 22.

The Guyana Forestry Commission (GFC) wrote industry members that, from Sept. 1, it would also restrict exports of logs and lumber because of the country's shortage.

Agriculture Minister Robert Persaud said 61% of timber harvested is exported and 80% of that as logs, adding that the situation is “unacceptable,” Demerara Waves reported.

Only operators with their own timber concessions will be allowed to export timber products, Persaud said.

Guyana, on the northeast coast of Latin America, is also putting pressure on forest operators thought to be under-utilizing their timber concessions, Persaud told Demerara Waves Monday after a meeting with concerned forest products industry representatives.

They agreed in general on moves to address the lack of building materials, such as looking to fulfill demand in-country, not just exports, said Persaud.

The Guyana Manufacturers and Services Association and the Forest Products Association met with Persaud after receiving the GFC letter regarding export restrictions.

Roubinder Rambarran, executive director of the Private Sector Commission, said Monday the meeting also brought agreement the industry lacks information about demand levels for forest products within Guyana, Demerara Waves reported.

Efforts are planned to resolve the information gap, said Rambarran. The data will inform logging policy, likely helping to set percentages of production companies are allowed to export, Rambarran said.

The primary source of this article is Demerara Waves, Georgetown, Demerara, Guyana, on Aug. 22, 2011.

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