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– agrees to allow Iwokrama’s FSC-certified timberMore than a year after one of the biggest traders in the United Kingdom (UK) placed a procurement ban on Guyana’s greenheart timber, significantly curtailing exports,Cheap NFL Jerseys China, there is a move underway to send a shipment.The shipment will be made by Wijma, a UK sales and distribution division of Dutch European Sustainable Tropical Timber Coalition (STTC), which hopes to deliver the first greenheart to its customers in early in the new year.The timber will be coming from Iwokrama International Centre for Rainforest Conservation and Development, which a few months ago made significant strides when it was certified by the Forest Stewardship Council.The STTC is an alliance of industry, business, government and NGOs dedicated to increasing European demand for sustainably sourced tropical timber.The forest, located in the forest-rich Guiana Shield region and managed by the Iwokrama International Centre for Rainforest Conservation and Development, was audited by the Soil Association, with backing from STTC founder and supporter IDH, the sustainable trade initiative.According to Iwokrama, following pre-assessment last May, the FSC certificate was awarded on October 14.Half the forest will be kept as ‘wilderness reserve’ and half as ‘sustainable use forest’, with a harvest cycle based on natural regeneration, allowing removal of 10 trees per hectare and stipulating reduced impact logging.Greenheart is widely used in the UK and across the rest of Europe in marine applications.But in the UK, where it is especially popular for sea defences, the Environment Agency (EA) issued a procurement ban in 2015 after assessing that proof of sustainable sourcing was inadequate.“The EA have now removed the outright ban on greenheart after we advised them of the FSC certification awarded to Iwokrama,” said Damian Cole of Wijma UK. “They will accept Category A FSC 100% Greenheart from Iwokrama, but at the same time say that Category B timber from Guyana [which is material under UK rules backed by other forms of sustainable sourcing documentation] does not meet their requirements.”Wijma will be among the first suppliers to put the certified greenheart on the market and the customer for its initial shipment will be the EA itself, which undertakes timber procurement for public projects.The timber is for sea defences at Dawlish Warren on the south coast.A range of other species is available from the Iwokrama forest, including purpleheart.Whether the UK’s EA will specify these too remains to be seen, but it has a programme to evaluate and increase use of lesser known tropical timber species.Earlier this year, when it became public knowledge that UK’s greenheart market was in deep trouble because of EA’s stance, Government and the private sector had announced collaborative efforts to have it reversed.Minister of Natural Resources, Raphael Trotman; and Minister of Business, Dominic Gaskin; met with representatives of the private sector and stakeholders of the logging industry to tackle the issue.The restrictions, which have cut exports of wood products to UK by almost 65 percent, since the May 2015 advisory by the Environment Agency (EA), has been engaging Government and stakeholders, it was disclosed. EA is one of UK’s biggest buyers of lumber for state projects in that country.Greenheart was until a year ago widely used in sea defence projects by UK contractors.Government and private sector agreed to take the matter to the diplomatic level, among other things.According to Minister Gaskin, the issue had indeed a troubling one that should be of concern to all Guyanese.Greenheart, he stressed, is part of the “Guyanese identity” with the current procurement restrictions harming exports and local production.Minister Trotman made it clear that the issue is of concern to Government with the focus on finding solutions now.According to the Minister, Guyana’s systems of monitoring and verification to ensure logging is done in a sustainable and legal manner have been tested and proven over time.It is a standard that is not only recognised by the current EU-FLEGT negotiations but by Norway, which has a US$250M agreement with Guyana for the protection of the forests here. More than US$100M has been paid out, after intense checks were carried out by inspectors to ensure that deforestation levels are kept at manageable levels and that logging is conducted in a sustainable and legal manner.The main concern, Trotman had said,Cheap Jerseys Free Shipping, is to ensure that Guyana’s reputation is kept intact where forestry activities are concerned.Guyana was supposed to engage its High Commissioner to UK, Hamley Case, who has intense knowledge of the country’s forestry sector.Over the last four years, Greenheart exports were a massive US$27M.The impact saw Guyana’s Greenheart exports nose-diving last year from US$3.2M in 2014 to US$1.1M last year. This represents a massive 65% decline.In effect,Wholesale China Jerseys, the EA decision has tarnished Guyana’s reputation and could impact investments in the forestry sector.Already,NFL Jerseys China Wholesale, the impact on logging activities is being felt, with jobs and markets affected.Not only is foreign exchange earnings affected, but also the lives of thousands of Indigenous persons have been impacted.EA did not consult with Guyana on the issue, officials said.Timber represents a major export earner for Guyana,China NFL Jerseys, last year totaling US$45.6M, compared to the US$54.1M in 2014.The Iwokrama International Centre (IIC) was established in 1996 under a joint mandate from the Government of Guyana and the Commonwealth Secretariat to manage the Iwokrama forest, a unique reserve of 371,000 hectares of rainforest, “in a manner that will lead to lasting ecological, economic and social benefits to the people of Guyana and to the world in general”.
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