New oil producer wants to maximise value in forestry, mining, tourism industries

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With Guyana’s oil revenues projected to peak at US$16B in 2036, President, Irfaan Ali has said that a significant portion of these profits will be used to maximise the value and sustainability of industries such as forestry, mining, and tourism.

According to the government’s Low Carbon Development Strategy (LCDS) 2030, funds are expected to help with the implementation of sustainable forest management programmes, including finalising and implementing the Voluntary Partnership Agreement (VPA) under EU-Forest Law Enforcement, Governance and Trade (FLEGT). This is expected to enable Guyana to effectively trade with the European Union and other markets by the issuance of FLEGT licences.

It will also assist in the implementation of the Programme for Endorsement of Forest Certification (PEFC) so as to boost local and international trade of certified forestry products.

Plans are also in the pipeline to maximise value creation of forest products while exploring market opportunities for exports. The document notes that progress has been made with Barbados, Ghana and other countries. For example, 120 prefab houses are being manufactured using local wood and exported to Ghana.

With respect to mining, government intends to implement mineral mapping in the mining districts to identify economically exploitable deposits as a means of improving productivity within the sector.

The document also notes the government’s intent to advance transparency, meet commitments on the phase-out of mercury and implement education and incentives for integrated planning and management of the mining and forest sectors. The purpose of these measures is to increase the sector’s ability to grow sustainably and in particular to play a role in serving increased global demand for rare earth metals, which are essential to the global energy transition because of their use in electric vehicles, solar and other important parts.

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As for Guyana’s Tourism Strategic Plan, this is currently being drafted, drawing on previous work and being updated to align with the LCDS 2030. At the same time, work is progressing on the provision of tourism infrastructure, especially hotels, in Georgetown and along the coast.

Between 2022 and 2025, LCDS 2030 states that over 2,000 hotel rooms will be added, many of which will be operated by global brands which will increase the visibility of Guyana’s tourism product.

Government has also invited expressions of interest for the establishment of eco-lodges. It anticipates that this will result in a number of major investors working with local communities all while being in keeping with its goal to steer the nation clear of a tunnel-vision approach to oil development.


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