News from Guyana

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Taking to the airwaves to reach Guyana’s Amerindian FLEGT stakeholders

Taking to the airwaves to reach Guyana’s Amerindian FLEGT stakeholders

From the small village of Annai, Radio Paiwomak beams news, current affairs and music to thousands of listeners living in the hinterland communities of eastern Guyana. Radio Paiwomak is not just any radio station. It broadcasts in the Amerindian Makushi language. Paiwomak is a combination of the names of three mountain ranges in the North Rupununi region: Pakaraima, Iwokrama and Makarapan.

Kenny David, Assistant Commissioner of Forests, Guyana Forestry Commission and Joel Fredericks, Chairman of the National Toshaos Council, share information on the VPA with some of Guyana’s remotest communities. Credit: EU FLEGT Facility

Serving 15 Amerindian communities, Radio Paiwomak is a unique way to reach out to stakeholders in the FLEGT Voluntary Partnership Agreement (VPA) in negotiation between Guyana and the European Union (EU). A VPA is a legally binding trade agreement between the EU and a timber-producing country outside the EU.

Representatives of Guyana’s multistakeholder National Technical Working Group have taken to the airwaves to share information with some of Guyana’s remotest communities. Guests from government, the Amerindian community and the private sector stepped up to the microphone to explain how VPAs work, the importance of legally-produced timber and how the Agreement might create opportunities for growth in Guyana’s timber industry.

As Guyana and the EU enter into the final stages of VPA negotiation, Guyana’s Forestry Commission has been sharing information with stakeholders through broadcast media programmes and the publication of VPA documents online. Ensuring an inclusive and consensus-based Agreement is important as Guyana advances towards a VPA with the EU.