Recommends policies to promote renewed forest stewardship and sound environmental management neglected during the Mobutu dictatorship and civil war. Argues that proper husbanding of the country's forest resources can act as a stimulant to economic growth.
The raging fires that recently destroyed large portions of the Brazilian Amazon, have generated global concern for the future on the world's last few intact forest frontiers. Indeed, Indonesia's and Venezuela's forests have also suffered fire-induced destruction.
Guyana's abundant forest resources, encompassing 85 percent of its land area at the heart of the Guiana Shield, represent the largest remaining intact tropical forest frontier in the world.
Tropical forests are vanishing at alarming rates throughout Africa, Asia, and Latin America, and their many contributions to huan welfare are being undermined. Despite increased efforts to stem deforestation, recent findings indicate that the problem is getting worse.
Under current national income accounting practices, assets such as buildings and equipment are valued as productive assets and depreciated over time; natural resource assets are not. This asymmetry is the way national assets are treated sends misleading signals to policymakers.
Throughout much of the developing world, accelerating deforestation is laying waste to vital economic assets, destroying fragile soils, and driving wild species to extinction. In industrialized countries as well, forests are imperiled by pollution and contested by conflicting uses.