Timber was the least exploited but most abundant natural resource in Guyana in the early 1990s. Forests, many of which reportedly had commercial potential, covered three-quarters of the country's land. Over 1,000 different species of trees were known to grow in the country.
The two main difficulties in timber production were the limited access to the forests and electrical power problems at the major lumber mills. The government and interested groups overseas were addressing both difficulties. The government launched the Upper Demerara Forestry Project in the early 1980s to improve hardwood production on a 220,000-hectare site. In 1985 the International Development Association, part of the World Bank, provided a US$9 million loan for expansion of the forestry industry. In 1990 the government sold the state-owned logging company and announced plans to allow significant Republic of Korea (South Korean) and Malaysian investment in the timber industry. Showing concern for the longterm condition of its forests, the government also planned to set aside 360,000 hectares of rain forest for supervised development and international research into sustainable management.
|Country Studies main page | Guyana Country Studies main page|