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Guyana’s deforestation rate decreased in 2013

Guyana has completed its 4th Annual Assessment of Deforestation and Forest Degradation under the Monitoring Reporting and Verification System (MRVS), the Government Information Agency (GINA) reported.

Interim results on 2013 deforestation rate indicate a decrease in the rate of deforestation from 0.079% as the annual rate for 2012, to 0.068% as the reported rate for 2013.  Total deforestation is 12,702 hectares for 2013. The main reason for this decrease in deforestation rate is on account of a decrease in deforestation from mining activities which dropped to 11,487 hectares from the 2012 total of 13,664 hectares, a decline of 2,177 hectares.

The decrease may be on account of new technology and more responsible and low-impact mining practices. A significant fact influencing this decline in deforestation in mining has also been the intensified monitoring activities by the natural resources sector and its agencies in working with operators in the sector.

Forest sector deforestation continues to be at a very low level of 330 hectares and justifies the assertions that forest harvest has had, and continues to have a very low impact on deforestation.

The results are being finalised at this stage and will be incorporated into the MRVS Year 4 Report which is expected to be released shortly. 

This findings and methods of the Year 4 assessment will be open to two layers of independent assessment: the first by a team of accuracy assessors who will be working to establish the statistical accuracy, uncertainty levels and precision of the reported results, including the deforestation rate; and the second assessment will take the form of an independent third party verification, conducted by a company contracted by the Government of Norway. 

The rate of deforestation over the past 23 years has remained fairly stable between the range of 0.02% and 0.08%, and stands to compare quite favourably with the global average deforestation rate (computed across 85 developing forested countries as report by FAO), which is recorded at 0.52%.  This rate also compares very favourably with Guyana’s Reference Level as agreed under the Guyana Norway Bilateral Agreement on Forest and Climate, which is set at 0.275% (computed as the mean between Guyana’s historic rate of 0.03% and the global rate of 0.52%). 

            Below is a summary of the main findings in the 2013 assessment and an accompanying graph:

Driver

Year 1 – 2010

Year 2 – 2012

Year 3 – 2013

Year 4 – 2013

Forestry (includes forestry infrastructure)

294

233

240

330

Agriculture (permanent)

513

52

440

424

Mining (includes mining infrastructure)

9,384

9,175

13,664

11,487

Infrastructure

64

373

127

342

Fire (deforestation)

32

58

184

96

Settlements

23

Area Change

10,287

9,891

14,655

12,702

Deforestation Rate

0.056%

0.054%

0.079%

0.068%

 (Ministry of Natural Resources )

Year

Period

1990-2000

1

2001-2005

2

2006-2009

3

2010

4

2011

5

2012

6

2013

7