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:
• 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;
• 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;
• It is recommended 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.
Authors and Publishers
Michael Mc Garrell
The Amerindian Peoples Association (APA) is a non-governmental Indigenous Peoples organisation in Guyana. It is primarily an advocacy organisation that seeks to promote and defend the rights of the Indigenous Peoples of Guyana.
Membership of the APA is made up of Units throughout the country, currently amounting to close to eighty such units. The Association is led by an Executive Committee comprising the President, Vice-President, Secretary, Treasurer, Assistant Secretary/Treasurer, thirteen regional representatives, a women’s representative and a youth representative.
Forest Peoples Programme supports the rights of peoples who live in forests and depend on them for their livelihoods. We work to create political space for forest peoples to secure rights, control their lands and decide their own futures.