News from Guyana



Guyana and the EU complete fourth VPA negotiation session

Guyana and the EU complete fourth VPA negotiation session

Representatives of Guyana and the EU discussed stakeholder participation, a draft legality definition and details of the country’s timber legality assurance system at the fourth negotiation session of the Guyana-EU Voluntary Partnership Agreement in Georgetown, Guyana, from 8 to 10 March 2016. A VPA is a legally binding trade agreement between the EU and a timber-producing country outside the EU.

Credit: EU Delegation in Guyana


Ensuring an inclusive and consensus-based Agreement is a priority for both parties as the negotiations enter the final stages. The Guyana Forestry Commission, which is the country’s focal point for the VPA, has been informing and consulting with stakeholders to draft VPA annexes. The Commission has consulted with over 600 people from 100 communities, taking into consideration gender balance. Going forward, it plans to provide information on the VPA in Amerindian languages. The Commission has published draft VPA annexes online with a commitment to respond regularly to feedback received from stakeholders. Representatives from the multistakeholder National Technical Working Group, including members of private sector, Amerindian bodies and government agencies, have participated in television programmes and outreach through radio to Amerindian communities

During the session, Guyana shared its progress on the legality definition and regulatory framework. Both parties also affirmed their commitment to strengthen inter-agency coordination on the implementation of the Guyana Legality Assurance System. Broadening the scope of the discussion, Guyana and the EU said that the Agreement is an opportunity to address broader governance issues including land titling and land use.

Both parties acknowledged the growing integration and linkages between REDD+ and FLEGT in Guyana, and encouraged the promotion of synergies with broader forest policies as well as potential linkages between private certification and the VPA. 

The parties plan to hold the next negotiation session in Brussels, Belgium, in July 2016. Guyana formally entered into the VPA negotiation process with the EU in December 2012.