Draft lands commission document completed
GINA, GUYANA, Monday, November 21, 2016
Government continues to take steps to tackle indigenous land titling issues. Recently, Minister of State, Joseph Harmon handed over the Lands Commission of Guyana draft document to the Ministry of Indigenous Peoples’ Affairs and other stakeholders.
Minister of Indigenous Peoples’ Affairs Sydney Allicock in an interview with the Government Information Agency (GINA), said that the document is being shared so that everyone can make proposals. This will allow for the creation of a document with which everyone is satisfied.
The Guyana Lands and Surveys Commission, the Guyana Geology and Mines Commission, and the Guyana Forestry Commission are some of the stakeholders involved in the process.
Additionally, Minister Allicock said it is important that the lands commission is aligned with the sustainable development goals, the constitution, the Amerindian Act of 2006 and with other international bodies.
Minister Allicock explained, “we have to look at it from a broad angle, and see if it fits nicely into there, and we have to have persons who are aware or who understand how the indigenous peoples live, understand the environment, the natural environment, who understand the ecosystem.”
The minister added that once all those requirements are met, the process of having land claims settled can move forward.
Minister Allicock noted that some communities have not yet bought into the land demarcation process. This is due to the fact that some are engaged in legal battles and are waiting on the outcome.
However, the Minister is urging them to reconsider their decision as the lands commission will deal with the challenges surrounding land titling.
By: Isaiah Braithwaite