Proposed tree plantation can threaten historic sites – archaeologist

Archaeologist Louisa Daggers has expressed concern that China Paper Corporation’s proposed tree plantation in the intermediate savannahs of Berbice could impact significant archaeological sites.

“As a concerned citizen and a professional in the field of archaeology and cultural heritage protection I am a bit concerned about the China Paper tree-plantation project in the intermediate savannahs and its potential impact on locally and internationally significant archaeological/cultural sites within the Berbice river area,” Daggers wrote in a letter to Stabroek News.

“I will not give myself too much liberty as neither of the agencies specified the exact location of this development; however, from my personal research I am almost sure it is within the confines of the proposed study site for archaeological research in the coming years,” she said.

The anthropologist who is attached to the Amerindian Research Unit of the University of Guyana questioned why the issue is not being addressed by the media and the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) after several headlines by the cultural sector on the significance of the Berbice sites. She also pointed out that a Memorandum of Understanding was signed earlier this year with the University of Florida encouraging several years of research in Berbice.

“The EPA Act mandates that a cultural assessment be conducted whenever a project is being considered; this goes hand-in-hand with the EIA and the ESIA, so why has this not been addressed and is being ignored by the EPA,” Daggers questioned.

Earlier this year, Minister of Culture, Youth and Sport, Dr Frank Anthony, in reviewing his ministry’s highlights for last year, said that a major archaeological find in the Berbice area, which has attracted foreign researchers, was a high point. Anthony had said the ministry would be partnering with a number of universities and other institutions to carry out research work at the archaeological site.

The site stretches beyond the Fort Nassau area where there is a huge savannah and Anthony said researchers had noticed a number of mounds rising up in the savannahs that might date back before the birth of Christ and was possibly the home of an ancient civilization. He had noted that since the site has attracted foreign researchers, the ministry would be monitoring all archeological excavations.

China Paper Corporation proposes to invest US$205 million in a tree plantation in the intermediate savannahs and has applied to the EPA for authorization. The EPA had said that Standard Agro-Forestry Inc. – which is wholly owned by China Paper – submitted an application for Environmental Authorization to develop a Tree Plantation and Agricultural project on 52,995 hectares of intermediate savannahs situated west of the Berbice River. The parcels of land are located in Regions Five and Ten.

“This development will entail cultivating fast-growing trees of the Acacia species which will be harvested to produce pellets for export. The site will also require the construction of houses and roads, felling of trees and the development of a Landing on the west bank of the Berbice River. Tree logs will be transported down the Berbice River to New Amsterdam where they will be processed into pellets,” the EPA said. The agency said that an Environmental and Social Impact Assessment is required for the project before any decision to approve or reject it since the development may have significant impacts on the environment.

Latest in Local News

default placeholder

Cases being built against drug kingpins

Outgoing Deputy Chief of Mission at the US Embassy here, Bryan Hunt has urged patience as it relates to indictments of local drug barons saying that cases are being built in the background that can guarantee convictions.

St Paul’s Anglican Church in Aurora

Aurora Village (Part 2)

Things in Aurora Village are much livelier than in Aurora Estate. Women walk in and out of the health centre with babies hanging from their hips; policemen stand outside the police station bracing against a wooden rail as they talk amongst themselves and shouts of chatter from children playing fill the air.

A Cessna 206 – the model of the planes flown out of Eugene F Correia International Airport, at Ogle yesterday

Probe launched into illegal Cessna flights from Ogle

The Guyana Civil Aviation Authority (GCAA) yesterday launched an investigation into the illegal flights of two aircraft from the Eugene F Correia International Airport, at Ogle, East Coast Demerara.

default placeholder

Broke City Hall seeks gov’t bailout

Debt-ridden City Hall has approached the government for a bailout after undertaking several Golden Jubilee projects it did not budget for.

Trevon Thomas

Youth of Guyanese parentage dies in BVI boat accident

A young man of Guyanese parentage died tragically in Tortola, British Virgin Islands around 10:00 hrs yesterday when the speedboat he was in hit rough waters and capsized.

Two of the better appointed stands at D’Urban Park (Stabroek News file photo/Keno George)

D’Urban Park bleachers to remain

The bleachers at D’Urban Park will not be dismantled as originally intended as government intends to preserve and improve the area and turn it into a facility for public events, President David Granger has said.

default placeholder

Funerals held for Kamarang sisters crushed by tree

Post-mortem examinations were performed yesterday on the two children who were crushed to death on Thursday in Kamarang, Region Seven and they were buried with the village council assisting with funeral expenses.

default placeholder

Plug leakages to prevent state resources from bleeding out

Revenues from ExxonMobil’s oil find here could be at least four times Guyana’s national budget at current market prices, and a top US Embassy official here has urged government to move swiftly to implement measures to ensure transparency and accountability.

Comments

About these comments

The comments section is intended to provide a forum for reasoned and reasonable debate on the newspaper's content and is an extension of the newspaper and what it has become well known for over its history: accuracy, balance and fairness. We reserve the right to edit or delete comments which contain attacks on other users, slander, coarse language and profanity, and gratuitous and incendiary references to race and ethnicity.

Stay updated! Follow Stabroek News on Facebook or Twitter.

Get the day's headlines from SN in your inbox every morning: