Forestry studies building opened at UG

Stabroek News
October 28, 2002

Related Links: Articles on University of Guyana
Letters Menu Archival Menu

A $16M forestry building was declared opened by Minister of Fisheries, Crops and Livestock Satyadeow Sawh on Friday at the University of Guyana Campus, Turkeyen.

The building which would now house students from the faculty of natural sciences along with forest researchers received most of its funding from the United Kingdom's Department for International Development (DFID). Delivering the feature address at the opening of the new facility Sawh said he counted it a pleasure to be at the opening of the new centre. "As we are all aware our country Guyana is blessed with an abundance of natural resources.. one of the most visible of these of course is our tropical rainforest." The minister said that it has always been and will always be the government's position that these forestry resources must be utilised for the provision of social and economic benefits for all Guyanese.

He said, government has made it clear that full utilisation of the country's resources must be done in a manner that is environmentally friendly and acceptable, not only to the satisfaction of the non-governmental organisations and the international community and even the government, but to the people of Guyana. Sawh encouraged maximum use of the resources with little wastage as possible of raw materials. He said that government has also encouraged the local processing of forest resources into value added products. He added that there is still a long road to go in this regard, noting that his government would have to pay more attention to reducing the wastage of forestry resources.

Sawh said in order to achieve all of these objectives it is incumbent upon the relevant authorities to provide adequate skilled and professional personnel to work in the forestry sector. Sawh complimented the University of Guyana for its vision and initiative in launching the diploma in forestry programme.

He also lauded the Faculty of Agriculture for nurturing the programme and expanding it to the extent that it has been able to gain international recognition. Sawh also complimented the faculty of Natural Sciences which initiated the masters programme. He said that the combined efforts of these programmes have now resulted in the Guyana Forestry Commission (GFC) being furnished with a cadre of skilled staff.

According to the minister, the sector needs more graduates to assist in the more structured planning of its operation from the factory level to the marketing level. He declared that the new facility is very timely and welcome, adding that he was informed that the forest research unit at the GFC will also have close linkages with the new facility, which he said is an excellent opportunity for students to network with researchers and further develop their professional career. He said that very shortly forestry legislation will be tabled in parliament by the government. He said "we are also engaged in certification and private companies are moving along with the GFC and the government to have this done. This we believe is in keeping with the international trend that necessitates our products (being) certified which would allow us to earn more for our considerable exploited products and again providing transfer of technologies for our forestry sector and our students."

He charged the students to take care of the facility and ensure that it remains in excellent condition so that generations to come can benefit from it. Among those who attended the ceremony were, British High Commissioner to Guyana Stephen Hiscock, UG Vice-Chancellor, Dr James Rose and DFID official, Greg Briffa. (Nigel Williams)