Hinterland city would address development of Indigenous People and climate change

Dear Editor,

The ideas we have proposed in the paper justifying Unity and Human Development (“UHD”), can be downloaded at http://bit.ly/18odYmG. We welcome criticisms and comments. Here, we argue that sustainable development of our nation depends on the creation of real incorporation and acknowledgement of our Indigenous people, sensible incorporation of the Diaspora, and intelligent planning for the effects of climate change.

Counting first generation Guyanese, Guyana possibly has over one million people in the Diaspora. They are educated and possess significant amounts of physical and financial assets. Therefore, this group represents the most valuable and largely untapped resource available to Guyana. Human capital is recognized by the economic growth literature as one of the most crucial inputs into the production process. Therefore, the Diaspora represents a significant pool of talent and human capital. Sending back about US$500 million each year in cash and kind remittances, the Diaspora can be a major source of financial capital. A serious economic policy agenda would therefore have to include a plausible set of policies to integrate the Diaspora into the process of national development.

With global warming and the projected increase in sea level, Guyana must plan to move critical economic activities inland. Hinterland development is also crucial because it is the most direct way to take development to our Indigenous people. Therefore, anticipating rising sea levels and the need to take development to marginalized people, Pro Guyana recognizes the need to plan at least two hinterland cities. This will also provide an opportunity to diversify the economy and promote renewed attention to urban economics. It will also be worthwhile to examine the establishment of the capitals of each Region as towns, with banking services and modern transportation and communications links.  It should be noted that Guyana’s natural and mineral resources are primarily located in the hinterland. Schools and technical institutes could be established there to ‘feed’ the relevant economic sectors.

Creating a new Hinterland city would tend to be consistent with almost all of the UHD principles. Education, health, physical security, financial development and structural production change will all be invoked. This will take development of Indigenous people beyond superficial development, such as handing out a few solar panels that can only light one bulb. It will also increase the scope of business opportunities for the private sector, thus enhancing competitiveness both through scale and scope.

The overarching narrative on national development must articulate the historically critical issues of the still unresolved Amerindian Land issue, the question of sub-surface mineral rights, the right to practise one’s culture, for example, all within the broader framework of holistic development of the country. Simply, if these issues are not at least recognized at this stage of our way forward, they will be a hindrance to achieving the goal of fairness and social justice, prerequisites for viable unity. It will be essential to ensure the democratic formulation and rapid, intense, implementation of policies to protect Indigenous peoples from the ravages of multinational corporations and other investors who, in the name of “economic development”, harm the livelihoods of Indigenous people, and destroy the rainforest. Preserving the physical environment is necessary in protecting Indigenous people and their way of life.  In light of the vast economic power historically vested in the hands of our Indigenous People, we have to indicate a compassionate understanding of these issues if we are to make headway toward the creation of a developmental state.


Yours faithfully,
Terrence Simon
Hubert Wong
Tarron Khemraj

Latest in Letters

default placeholder

The city council needs to install parking meters to raise money

Dear Editor, We continue to be amazed by the many different stories which are being peddled in certain sections of the media and other places about the installation and operation of parking meters in the city.

default placeholder

It is time the Mayor, Town Clerk, Finance Committee Chairman stop the authoritarianism

Dear Editor, The Youth For Local Government (YFLG) is appalled by the actions and statements coming from the Georgetown municipality, mainly the utterances of the Mayor, Councillor Oscar Clarke and the Town Clerk on the parking meter fiasco.

default placeholder

Statistics do not support the view that abolition of the death penalty does not affect the murder rate

Dear Editor, In societies all over the world when the murder rate is deemed uncomfortably high citizens engage in fierce discourse on the merits and demerits of the death penalty; Guyana has been no different.

default placeholder

Jagan was prepared to offer vice-presidencies to Thomas and Tennassee

Dear Editor,   I noticed that there is debate about the offer of a ministerial position to distinguished Professor Dr Clive Thomas by Dr Jagan.

default placeholder

Is the talk of social cohesion just rhetoric?

Dear Editor, I have a serious question for Guyanese, especially the current Government of Guyana (the APNU+AFC). What exactly is social cohesion and what measurable criteria need to be met for this to be achieved?

default placeholder

The EU will not be the same without Britain

Dear Editor, The British people have voted to exit the European Union after 43 years of membership. This is indeed a historic development which can have far reaching consequences not only for the people of Britain, but for the whole of Europe.

default placeholder

APNU+AFC councillors were not invited to Region Five council meeting

Dear Editor,   As I was watching the LRTVS newscast the night before last, I was shocked to see the Regional Chairman and his PPP councillors at a meeting in the RDC boardroom. 

default placeholder

The parking meter contract should be renegotiated or scrapped

Dear Editor, The parking meter controversy raises many troubling questions for democracy, transparency and accountability. As a newly elected Councillor, I understand that there is a need to generate more revenue in order to manage the City of Georgetown effectively and implement much needed projects to upgrade existing facilities and embark on new developmental projects.


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: