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Kaburi looks to end destructive logging

4201-54906The small Amerindian village of Kaburi in Region Seven is taking steps to end destructive logging. Kaburi is the only community along the road to Amaila Falls, the site of the proposed hydropower station.

Kaburi has its own charms, such as this 1, 000 feet wooden bridge, free-flowing streams, and quaint buildings. The village hopes it can earn income from eco-tourism soon. But as of now, its concern is how to utilize its forest in a sustainable way while making money at the same time.  

Lucas David, a retired public servant and farmer, is one of Kaburi’s villagers who Thursday graduated from training in sustainable forest management. Funding for the training was provided by Small Grants Programme of the Global Environment Facility, which is headed by Ian Kissoon.

Reynold David, who serves as the Toshao, or Village Leader, admits that some residents cut down the trees indiscriminately for their lumber operations. The lumber is trucked to the capital Georgetown and the community receives royalties on the lumber taken out.

According to the Toshao, the village now wants to preserve “most of the trees” and only use the ones that are marketable.

Edna Edwards, the oldest of the group trained, said she didn’t know much about the trees and how to protect them.

One of the goals of the training programme is to achieve a 75% reduction in the number of trees poorly felled and harvested.

In addition, it is hoped that the training in chainsaw milling techniques would lead to a 60% increase in the production of chainsaw lumber. 16-year-old Virley David is the youngest of those trained to use the chainsaw.

From the training in forestry management, a five-year management plan will now be developed for Kaburi. In addition, a five-year harvesting plan will also be developed with the intention of contributing to the sustainable management of 1,100 hectares of forest.

Kaburi’s residents, now numbering about 350, are made up of the Akawaio and Patamuna Amerindian nations. Located 72 miles along the Bartica/Potaro road, Kaburi covers 41.57 square miles and received legal title to their land in 2006.

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