Small loggers' associations in Guyana have grown from one to 73 between 2000 and 2014 with over 2 000 members and 4 000 chainsaw millers. They hold 128 2-year renewable harvest licences to 488 Kha, generally in rainforest already degraded by uncontrolled logging. The slippages between government policies and actual practices in respect of the associations are traced through the evolution of chainsaw milling from the mid-1980s. Using the institutional analysis of property theorists, SLAs are shown to be associations in name only. The State regulatory agency controls access to concession licences and the structure and functioning of the associations. The political patronage system, administrative discretion and the short-term licences awarded on the one hand and the individual milling operations of members on the other hand lead to dysfunctional associations. Only 1/3 of the associations have formally registered legal personality and so the majority are ineligible for bank credit or direct donor support.
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Vol. 17 • No. 2