Five communities receive land titles

– to move forward with the development of their villages

DPI, Guyana, Friday, October 11, 2019

Five more Indigenous communities – Kangaruma and Tasserene, Region 7; Yupukari, Region 9 and St. Monica and Mainstay/Whyaka, Region 2 received their certificates of titles for their lands.

The Toshaos of Kangaruma, Tasserene, Yupukari, St. Monica and Mainstay/Whyaka, along with Prime Minister, Hon. Moses Nagamootoo, Minister of Indigenous Peoples’ Affairs, Hon. Sydney Allicock and Minister within the ministry, Hon Valerie Garrido-Lowe and Minister of State, Hon. Dawn-Hastings Williams.

The documents were handed over on the final day of the 13th conference of the National Toshaos Council (NTC) at the Arthur Chung Conference Centre (ACCC) in the presence of Prime Minister, Hon. Moses Nagamootoo, Minister of Indigenous Peoples’ Affairs, Hon.  Sydney Allicock, Minister within the Ministry of Indigenous Peoples’ Affairs, Hon. Valerie Garrido-Lowe and Minister of State Hon. Dawn-Hastings Williams.

These communities have been waiting years for their grants of titles to move forward with the development of their villages.

The tourism-driven communities of Mainstay/Whyaka applied for their extension in 2011-2012. Toshao Milton Fredricks was ecstatic when he heard the news today. He had told the Department of Public Information (DPI) that the village has been waiting for a very long time for the extension and did not abandon their plans to fully utilise the additional land.

Fredricks said that the title comes at an opportune time, as it comes when the village’s development is moving ahead.

The Amerindian Land Titling process was facilitated by the Amerindian Act of 2006 that provided for land titling and extensions. This led to the establishment of the ALT project which was scheduled to commence in 2013 and end in 2016; under the auspices of the Government of Guyana and the United Nations Development Fund, with funding of $2.2Billion (US$10.7M) provided from the Guyana REDD+ Investment Fund. The project was extended from 2016 to 2018 and subsequently from 2019 to 2021.

The ALT project seeks to achieve three primary goals: completion of land titles issues and demarcation process for all Indigenous villages that submitted requests, increased use of existing and alternative mechanisms to resolve land titling disputes and thirdly, a communication strategy including a handbook describing the process of titling, demarcation and socio-economic impact of secured land tenure.

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