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Georgetown's "Conservation Timber Works"

Like many cities worldwide, Georgetown has a challenge with its metal. Hundreds of iron manhole and drainage sewer covers have been lost or stolen, in many cases due to the scrap value of the metal itself. This has left dangerous holes in city sidewalks and streets.

Our solution is to take clues from Guyana’s greatest natural asset, namely its tropical forests, which sustainably produce some of the world’s most durable hardwoods. Guyana is leading the world in forest conservation, while supporting an important industry in community based timber production. The Forest Covers project will put this timber to work in service of this unique piece of city infrastructure. The Forest Covers will show the world that Guyana hardwood can create durable road-worthy components, while showcasing FSC certified conservation timber.

The Forest Covers will also tell the story of cooperation between community forestry and a major city, and a National Government that is committed to protecting the tropical forests on behalf of the whole planet.

Over one hundred “carbon-negative” Forest Covers will be produced to meet Georgetown’s needs, with more produced as needs arise. These will be made by local fabricators, who will train workers in green construction and carpentry techniques to improve local skills and capacity.

The Forest Covers project will be an example to the world of innovation and creative thinking applied to urban wellbeing and the climate crisis at the same time. And they will be an example of Georgetown’s Sustainable Wood for Cities policy, which will guide procurement of future projects and products using timber of any kind, species, or source.

Project Goals

1. Design and construct an affordable high quality cover for the manhole and sewer access holes in central Georgetown of high density long-lasting locally grown hardwood shorts.

2. Communicate the project and its goals clearly to the world including: urban innovation, climate action and forest conservation

​3Create opportunity for local neighbourhood participation, education and awareness raising

4. Showcase the Cities4Forests Sustainable Wood for Cities pathways of certification, social forestry, high efficiency, net carbon accounting, low waste, and lesser-used species.

5. Create an opportunity for local businesses to participate and sponsor the project.

6. Use the project to innovate and train workers in the green jobs sector

7. Ensure that the project can be scaled and replicated internally in Georgetown, and in other cities around the world.

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Open manhole in Georgetown sidewalk


Forest covers made out of  sustainably sourced Guyanese greenheart 

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