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I wish to briefly respond to a letter written on September 4, “Legal or illegal logging? Which is it?” to the media by a group which refers to itself as ‘Essequibo Small Loggers’. Their missive was riddled with aspersions on A. Mazaharally & Sons Ltd (AMSL), and it is imperative that I address them accordingly.
It seems as though these persons, rife with animosity in a stylized narrative, simply set out to justify stealing; and in doing so, have hijacked the good name of the Small Loggers under the fake name of ‘Essequibo Small Loggers’ to get the public’s attention – a truly shameful and reprehensible act.
This group of forest raiders, hiding in disguise, are nothing short of poachers; they have forged alliances with many co-conspirators, circumnavigating the surveillance system of concession holders’, then use, without permission, the concessionaire’s funded road infrastructure in those concessions to gain undetected access through alternate routes so as to illegally harvest the logs, which eventually get sold off on the open market at lower rates than the legal logs and lumber, isn’t that what delinquents do; isn’t this illegal logging?
AMSL, a company with decades of experience in the forestry sector, that contributes meaningfully to our country’s economy, is a proponent to sustainable harvesting practices; and not only did the company raise awareness of illegal logging which adversely impacts the forestry sector, but also as a stakeholder, it brought judicious attention to the sector’s management.
The sanctity of contracts is underpinned by the obligations and considerations to which parties who entered into them must perform, based on offer and acceptance, and binding in law; however, it is untruthful and diversionary to refer to a contractor’s agreement, which is meant to provide labour services, as subletting of state forest lands.
Editor, it is certainly not my intention to engage in an equivalent retaliation with fake groups; however, in my previous letter, I have raised valid concerns on issues which have plagued the forestry sector for years, and at the same time, I offered some possible yet practical solutions, if taken into consideration by policy makers and thus implemented, will help level the playing field and boost revenue streams for the GFC and the overall forestry sector.
Capt. Ahamad Mazahar Ally
Director for AMSL