Georgetown, Guyana. January 12, 2024
Iwokrama Forest retains coveted Forest Stewardship Council™ (FSC™) Certification for the Iwokrama Forest.
Georgetown, Guyana. The Iwokrama International Centre for Rain Forest Conservation and Development (Iwokrama) today announced that it has received confirmation that the Iwokrama Forest has retained its Forest Stewardship Council™ (FSC™) Certification for Forest Management following an annual surveillance audit in October 2023.
Iwokrama’s Certificate for Forest Management was renewed in October of 2022, confirming that the Iwokrama Forest has maintained its certification uninterrupted since October 2016 (the Iwokrama received initial certification in 2008). The Iwokrama Forest was the first forest to have maintained this certification in Guyana and has raised the bar for forest management in Guyana and we are pleased to note that other forest managers have followed suit so that there now two other forest management certificates and three chain-of-custody certificates in Guyana.
FSC™ certification is the highest international accolade that Forest Managers can receive, and it is testament to the Centre’s application of international social, ecological and environmental best practices in its management of the Iwokrama Forest. Iwokrama’s forest management procedures and policies were rigorously measured against the Interim National Standard for Guyana (FSC-STD-GUY-01-2020) which includes 10 principles, 70 criteria and 213 indicators. Key to the adherence to FSC™ guidelines is that forest managers must follow all national rules, laws and guidelines including the GFC’s comprehensive Codes of Practice. The assessment team evaluated all elements of Iwokrama’s operations applicable to the standard to determine compliance against national and international benchmarks. Non-compliances are categorized as “observations”, “minor corrective actions” or “major corrective actions”.
During the recent surveillance audit, Iwokrama received only 1 observation. Non-compliances are a normal part of any assessment / audit process and based on the severity of the non-compliance with the standard, it could prevent the applicant from being certified.
In recent years many international buyers and consumers have increased demands for proof of forest products being sourced from well-managed forests. Currently, many of the major global markets require some sort of certification for wood imports. To this end the European Union and the Government of Guyana are also pursuing a Voluntary Partnership Agreement (VPA) on Forest Law Enforcement Governance and Trade (FLEGT) which will allow more access of Guyana’s wood to EU member countries. The FSC™ brand is highly recognized globally for its independent assessment, and for its opinion on products that have been produced in a more environmentally friendly manner. Iwokrama is also working closely with the Guyana Forestry Commission to develop the Guyana National Standard based on the Programme for the Endorsement of Forest Certification Systems’ (PEFC) requirements to ensure that more and more of Guyana’s forests can be certified.
The Centre is grateful to the Government of Guyana for their valuable ongoing support to the Centre. Special thanks are extended to the certification team of the Centre and our local community partners, the North Rupununi District Development Board (NRDDB), for their unwavering support.
Read Full Press Release January 12, 2024.