International Day of Forests 2019 – Message by
Hon. Raphael G. C. Trotman, MP,
Minister of Natural Resources
On this day, which is annually observed to bring attention to, and raise awareness of the tremendous service our forests gift humanity, I join the millions worldwide in recommitting to the effective management of this our precious and life-giving forest resource. Forests in Guyana cover more than three quarters of our land mass, and through effective management in recent years, we have seen our low deforestation rates drop to new, commendable lows (0.048% in 2017). This is happening even as the production of gold and minerals is on the increase and speaks to our able stewardship.
This year’s International Day of Forests theme, Forests and Education; Learn to Love Forests, highlights the need for us to share the knowledge of the value of our forests to every generation and every person, so as to safeguard this invaluable resource and ensure its effective stewardship for generations to come.
We all need to learn more about our forests, from its sequestering of carbon dioxide so that we may breathe clean air in moderate climates, to its value as a source of livelihood and further, as food for forest dependent communities and as keepers of our vast biodiversity.
In Guyana, we, through the Guyana Forestry Commission, and partnerships with stakeholders, have made great progress by bringing forth a new National Forest Policy and Codes of Practice, and advanced the Voluntary Partnership Agreement with the European Union. We are mindful that in this season there is work that is yet to be done, including educational programmes to spread the word to children and youth about forests.
On this day we salute those who have contributed so valiantly to preserving and sustainably managing our forests and renew our commitment to a green and clean environment for future generations – an undertaking that can only be accomplished through loving our forests.