Penalties for persons who illegally set vegetation, forests on fire

See the full statement issued by the Ministry of Natural Resources below:

The Ministry of Natural Resources (MNR) and the Guyana Forestry Commission GFC) have noted an increase of fires in the Bissaruni Area, Upper Demerara-Berbice Region, as well as other parts of the hinterland regions.

Initial investigations suggest that these fires were man-made (anthropogenic), perhaps deliberately set in some instances.

The Forests Act 2009 Part 3 Clause 24, clearly states that no person may “throw down a lighted match or lighted flammable material” or “do anything else likely to result in any forest produce being burnt or damaged”

Any person(s) found to be involved in such activities will face the full penalty of the law.

Additionally, Clause 27 (2) says that it is the duty of persons who see fires burning to speedily inform a forest or fire officer of this event. Clause 28 (1) (a) also informs that person(s) observing a fire burning in the forest should

take all possible steps to extinguish the fire. Further, Clause 29 (1) (a) states that a forest officer may require persons who are within a reasonable distance of the fire to assist in getting the fire under control.

The Forest Resources of Guyana are the patrimony of all Guyanese and provide shelter for human and animals.

It is an evolving ecosystem to a rich, diverse biodiversity. Additionally, they provide logging employment opportunities which empower improvements in the quality of life especially for indigenous and other hinterland

residents; providing also, important carbon storage functions and the provision of other environmental services.

Forests are also a key component of the LCDS 2030.

As such, the important role that forests play in our daily lives cannot be over-emphasized. The deliberate destruction and desecration of Guyana’s forest will therefore, not be tolerated.

The MN and GFC, in close collaboration with the Guyana Fire Service, and the Joint armed forces will be monitoring and perpetrators will face the full action of the law.