Forest ownership in Guyana
86.2% of the forest area is under the management and control of the Government of Guyana; of which 12.2 million hectares (67%) are designated as State Forests2 and placed under the management of the Guyana Forestry Commission (GFC). The remaining 12.9% are designated as State Land under the remit of the Lands and Surveys Commission. The remainder are mainly privately owned, titled Amerindian Lands (13.8% ) and protected areas (6.0% ). Guyana has 5 protected areas which contain significant forest areas, including (1) Kaieteur National Park, (2) Iwokrama, of which approximately 180,000 hectares have been set aside for forest conservation, (3) Kanuku Mountains Protected Area, (4) Konashen, and (5) Shell Beach Protected Area, which includes mangrove forests.
Out of the 12.2 million hectares of State Forest 4.7 million hectares (38%) have been issued as timber concessions, of which 1.7 million hectares (13%) as large, long-term concessions, 2.0 million hectares (17%) as small, short-term concessions and 1.0 million hectares (8%) as exploratory permit with no active timber harvesting operations yet (GFC, 2018).
2 State Forest (production forest) covers 12.6 m ha, but includes 440k ha non-forest. In addition, there are 2.3 m ha State Lands that classify as forest - Leases (agricultural) on State Lands are issued by the Guyana Lands &Surveys Commission over areas within State Lands, while mining licences or permits are issued by the Guyana Geology and Mines Commission over areas within State Lands - holders of an (agricultural) lease, mining licence or permit become Forest Sector Operators (FSO)s when authorised by the Guyana Forestry Commission (GFC) to salvage timber within the boundaries of such areas.