Corps of Wardens establishing presence in mining districts

DPI, GUYANA, Wednesday, January 31, 2018

The Corps of Wardens, launched last year, has begun establishing their presence in the mining districts.

Director of Compliance at the Ministry of Natural Resources, Derrick Lawrence, recently told the Department of Public Information (DPI) that the Wardens will play a critical role in enforcement and monitoring in 2018.

Director of Compliance at the Ministry of Natural Resources, Derrick Lawrence.

“Through a number of joint patrols working in collaboration with members of the GGMC, members of the EPA in some instances even with members of the Guyana Forestry Commission we have been able to establish a presence in many of the mining districts,” Lawrence said.

To complement the work of the Wardens, the Ministry will be establishing outposts in mining districts this year. “We’re trying to determine strategic locations where the greatest needs will exist but we don’t intend for the wardens to operate from Georgetown,” Lawrence said.

There have been increased patrols in areas labelled as “hot spots” with the aim of deterring illegal mining activities. Already, Lawrence believes that the Wardens’ presence has resulted in greater efforts towards compliance in the industry.

“We do believe that because there has been an increased number of joint patrols coming through certain areas that you could have labelled as hotspots, people are making a greater effort to legalise or regularise their operations,” Lawrence explained.

The Corps of Wardens is a law enforcement unit tasked with the monitoring and enforcement of order in the mining industry. Some 45 wardens were certified last year as Supernumerary Constables.

The wardens were trained in 25 areas including intelligence gathering, care, and custody of prisoners, use of force, ethics in law enforcement and occupational health and safety.  Training was done in collaboration with the Ministry of Public Security, the Guyana Forestry Commission, the Environmental Protection Agency, National Parks Commission and the Wildlife Agency.

Lawrence assured that there are measures in place to address instances of corruption in the Corps. “I believe that corruption will feed on systems that allow it to exist. I am not saying that members of the Corps of Warden…may not fall to some temptation but if they make that mistake, ever, they will find that that is not something that can ever take root within the Corps of Warden as long as I have anything to do with it,” he stressed.

He further expressed confidence that the culture of corruption can and will be changed. The pre-eminence of the Wardens is to protect, preserve and conserve Guyana’s Natural resources while ensuring that others do the same.

 

By: Tiffny Rhodius

 

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