In the run-up to the EU-CELAC Summit (17-18 July) and in line with the recently adopted Joint Communication on “New Agenda for Relations between the EU and Latin America and the Caribbean”, Commissioner for International Partnerships Jutta Urpilainen and Guyana’s Minister of Natural Resources Vickram Bharrat signed today a roadmap for the implementation of the Guyana-EU Forest Partnership.
The EU and Guyana agreed on a roadmap to further strengthen their collaboration to reach ambitious targets by 2030:
- Maintain Sustainably managed forests: 12.5 million ha;
- Expand Protected & Conserved forests: 30% by 2030 of terrestrial and marine spaces;
- Increase Restored forests: 200,000 ha;
- Increase the number of forest-related decent jobs;
- Maintain the rate of deforestation of natural forests below 0.1% per annum.
Commissioner for International Partnerships Jutta Urpilainen expressed her strong support for the work jointly carried out with Guyana: “Guyana wants to protect and use its forests sustainably. I am glad that we will continue to work together as partners on this shared ambition. The Forest Partnership will help us reach our joint climate and biodiversity goals, while promoting socio-economic development. With Global Gateway, the EU has adopted a very comprehensive approach to improving ecosystems around value chains with an objective to produce local added value. This will be further showcased at the upcoming EU-CELAC Summit, where our regions have a prime opportunity to reboot our unique partnership.”
Furthermore, Commissioner Urpilainen and Hon. Minister Barrhat discussed the next steps of the Forest Law Enforcement, Governance and Trade (FLEGT) Voluntary Partnership Agreement (VPA) after its entry into force in June of this year. This agreement on bilateral trade aims to improve forest governance and ensure harvesting and trade of legal timber. The Commissioner and the Minister agreed on the next steps to implement the VPA towards the licensing system.
The Forest Partnership and the FLEGT VPA should help Guyana enhance forest bio-economy and attract public and private investments while contributing to climate and biodiversity objectives and reinforcing the rights of local communities and Indigenous peoples.
Through these long-term political commitments, Guyana and the EU have agreed to cooperate closely to:
- Ensure sustainable forest management by improving forest governance, strengthening capacities and institutions, and enhancing the business environment;
- Stimulate the forest bioeconomy that generates jobs and socio-economic development through sustainable forest-based value chains and market access;
- Reduce deforestation through protection and restoration of forest and improved production practices;
- Facilitate production of and trade in legal and sustainable forest products.
European Commission President Ursula von der Leyen, on behalf of the EU, signed five Memoranda of Understanding for a Forest Partnership with Guyana, Mongolia, the Republic of Congo, Uganda and Zambia on 8 November 2022 during COP27 to protect, restore and ensure the sustainable use of the world’s forests. They acknowledge the challenges posed to forests by climate change, development needs, and conservation objectives, but also reflect the aspiration to enable forests to play their full economic, social and environmental roles.
Forest Partnerships and the €1 billion European Union contribution to the Global Forests Finance Pledge were first announced at the UN Climate Change Conference COP26 in Glasgow. In addition, the EU committed to spend 7 billion euro on biodiversity between 2021 and 2027, a large share to support forest conservation.
For More Information:
- Publication date
- 29 June 2023
- Directorate-General for International Partnerships