The Guyana Forestry Commission with support from International donors commenced and developed a draft Legality Assurance System in 2006. The system, termed the “Guyana Legality Assurance System” (GLAS), thereafter went through several revisions with direct and indirect stakeholders.
More recently in 2010, the Forests Products Development and Marketing Council of Guyana (FPDMC) and the Guyana National Bureau of Standards (GNBS), led another stakeholder inclusive process which led to the GLAS being formally recognized as a National Standard.
With the growing importance of forests and the positive strides that Guyana has made internationally on Sustainable Forest Management with great emphasis is being placed on Legality of Forest Produce, Guyana then partnered with the US and EU to draw synergies with other legality schemes such as the US Lacey Act and the EU FLEGT Programme.
The intention was to make the GLAS internationally accepted and recognized. With this overarching objective in mind, the GFC and FPDMC, with strategic guidance and policy oversight from the Minister of Agriculture with responsibility for Forests, commenced discussions with USAID/GTIS to support a review of the GLAS with this overall aim of having the GLAS meeting international standards.
USAID/GTIS made funding possible to do this review and two consultants Mr. Reinhold Glauner and Mr. Joern Ackermann were contracted to do the review. The consultants spent approximately three weeks in Guyana reviewing the document and meeting with local stakeholders, as well as conducting field and on site visits to concessions.
A draft report and standard has been presented to the GFC and FPDMC. The consultants along with USAID and GTIS representatives Mr. William Gelman and Mr. Patrick Henry met with the Hon. Robert M. Persaud, Minister of Agriculture with responsibility for Forests on Tuesday, March 15, 2011 at his office and briefed him on the work that has been conducted to date.
The draft reports and recommendations have also been presented to Minister Persaud who has mandated the GFC, FPDMC and FPA to do an internal review of the documents and provide comments to his office, and to the consultants through the USAID/GTIS office.