The Ministry of Natural Resources (MNR) and the National Toshaos Council (NTC) met on December 8 to discuss areas of possible cooperation and a Memorandum of Understanding is to be drawn up.
A release yesterday from MNR said that the MOU was proposed by the NTC after identifying a number of areas for which it needs the support of the Natural Resources Ministry. The release said that these included gaps in communication and information sharing; forest concessions being granted contiguous to indigenous lands; mining in indigenous communities and the need for monetary resources for the NTC, among others.
At the meeting at MNR on Upper Brickdam, Minister of Natural Resources Raphael Trotman supported the idea of the MOU and pledged to work with the NTC to find a positive way forward. The release said that the Minister gave a commitment that the Commissioners of the Guyana Geology and Mines Commission and the Guyana Forestry Commission will use verification approaches that would include villages.
Trotman suggested that a team of a maximum of seven persons be identified to work on the MOU draft before January. The suggested areas to be included are communication, training and capacity building, meetings, environmental matters and enforcement of the laws among others.
The Minister said that he was overjoyed about a better relationship between the MNR and the NTC and encouraged constructive criticisms in the interest of arriving at solutions.