Minister Trotman meets with South Rupununi Development Council and National Toshaos Council ahead of National Toshaos Conference 2019
The Minister of Natural Resources Hon. Raphael Trotman held engagements with the South Rupununi Development Council (SRDC) and the National Toshaos Council (NTC) on October 3rd and 4th respectively.
The meetings served as avenues for the Councils to bring to the Minister, matters of concerns to be discussed and necessary solutions to be found on common ground. The initial meeting with the SRDC sought to address the Government’s policy on river mining and the protection of the key headwaters in the South Rupununi, status of the operation of the “Dragga” down Kuyuwini River, and the status of the Marudi Mediation Agreement Process.
The latter meeting with the NTC served to discuss the possibility for an extension of the Forest Carbon Partnership Facility’s (FCPF) REDD+ Project. This is an Inter-American Development Bank funded project that aims at reducing emissions from deforestation and forest degradation, forest carbon stock conservation, sustainable management of forests, and the enhancement of forest carbon stocks in developing countries. The project currently offers an immense amount of support to the Council. In November 2018, the FCPF REDD+ Project advanced the furnishing and equipping of the NTC secretariat. Subsequently, there has been continued support and partnership in helping the Council to execute its mandate. The REDD+ Project also supports some support staff of the NTC and rental of the building that houses the NTC Secretariat. The project is scheduled to come to an end in December 2019.
Minister Trotman highlighted that the project has done ground-breaking work in regards to the sustainable management and development of the country’s forests with the inclusion of the Indigenous Peoples. He went on to note the international recognition given regarding the country’s forest practices and the eventual release of funds from the Kingdom of Norway to Guyana. The Minister said that as such it would be in the Government’s interest that the project continues. However, he said, if it does not, steps are being made to secure funding to continue aspects of the project, particularly in regards to the continuation of financial and material support to the NTC.
NTC Chair Mr. Nicholas Fredericks, thanked the Minister for the support and considerations going forward. Before the meetings culmination, he also inquired of how best the Ministry could be incorporated in the upcoming National Toshaos Conference 2019 to better interaction with other Toshaos who will be present. Minister Trotman noted that the Ministry will have a booth set up to address concerns and provide information and updates as needed, and will seek possible sideline interventions to address these.
The Minister is pleased to have met and interacted with the members of the various Councils and looks forward to more fruitful interactions at the Conference, which runs from October 7th – 11th, 2019, under the theme “Guyana’s First Peoples United in the Promotion of the Green Economy through Preservation of our Languages, Land and Right”.