A rapid assessment of the underlying causes of forest conflicts in Guyana

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Based on the experiences of Amerindian communities in Guyana, this briefing presents some of the main causes of forest conflicts in the country as well as recommendations for how to address these. In particular, the document presents the following points:

  • How lack of full recognition of indigenous peoples’ land rights in line with international law, absence of effective FPIC procedures and limited transparency in forest governance are key underlying causes of forest-related conflicts in Guyana;
  • Why these legal shortcomings and policy gaps create fundamental flaws in the timber concession allocation system, which generate uncertainty over the legality of timber supply chains and risk further conflicts unless reforms are put in place, leaving future FLEGT licences open to challenge;
  • The report recommends that laws, policies and rules governing land tenure and land allocation for commercial timber extraction in Guyana must be reformed to explicitly recognise and protect the inherent collective rights of indigenous peoples to their customary lands and resources; and that new procedures are established to properly apply the FPIC standard.