USING GUYANA’S MONITORING REPORTING & VERIFICATION SYSTEM TO GUIDE NATIONAL FOREST MANAGEMENT & DECISION MAKING
Keywords: Guyana, REDD+, Satellite Data, Forest Management, Decision Making
Abstract. The Guyana Forestry Commission’s (GFC) Monitoring, Reporting and Verification System (MRVS) is a combined Geographic Information System (GIS) and field-based monitoring system, which has underpinned the conducting of a historical assessment of forest cover as well as eight national assessments of forest area change to date. The System seeks to provide the basis for measuring verifiable changes in Guyana’s forest cover and resultant carbon emissions from Guyana’s forests, which will provide the basis for results-based REDD+ compensation in the long-term. With the continuous compilation, analysis and dissemination of MRVS results on a typically annual basis, the GFC envisioned a larger role for this data, in informing national processes such as natural resources policy and management. This resulted in a significant broadening of the application of the MRVS data and products for purposes that are aligned or complementary to national REDD+ objectives and forest policy and management. These broader applications have allowed for a beneficial shift towards the increased use of remote sensing data and scientific reporting to inform forest management, governance and decision making on natural resource management across forested land. This has resulted in a transformation in the nature of data available to inform decision making on forest management and governance, and overall environmental oversight, from predominantly social science data and factors to now incorporating remote sensing and scientific observations and reporting. Primary decision makers are turning to scientific based reporting to determine best approaches for developmental initiatives in Guyana. This study shows how Guyana has demonstrated significant progress in making remote sensing products accessible and useful to policy makers in Guyana.