Forestry Commission completes assessment on Mabaruma “rubber trees”

– residents re-invited to consultation after original report misplaced

The Guyana Forestry Commission has laid over a report that will guide the Government’s decision on the cutting of the “rubber trees” that line Philbert Pierre Avenue in Mabaruma, Region One.

Minister of Local Government and Regional Development, Hon. Nigel Dharamlall on Friday made this disclosure during a community engagement with residents in and around the township.

Section of the residents at the Mabaruma ground community engagement

The update was provided following the concerns of some residents that the century-old trees should be cut down because they are aged and pose a threat.

“The Forestry Commission came and already did the technical assessment. So, that report will be presented very shortly as well,” the Minister stated.

These trees were slated for cutting to facilitate roadworks undertaken by the Ministry of Public Works. However, there may be avenues for the road to be done without removal of the trees.

Minister Dharamlall said, “the engineers have indicated to us that they can design a road where both the trees and the road remain. So, please be a little patient about it and more than likely we will have to co-exist with both the trees and the road.”

While the Minister was adamant that these plans have not been finalised, residents were told that options may be on the cards for there to be two separate roads that facilitate traffic on both the northern and southern sides of the trees.

“The road is going to be completed to the benefit of the people of Mabaruma,” the Minister underscored.

Minister of Local Government and Regional Development, Hon. Nigel Dharamlall and Minister of Housing and Water, Hon. Colin Croal engage the Mabaruma Town Council

Accompanied by Minister of Housing and Water, Hon. Collin Croal, both Ministers had met the Mabaruma Town Council earlier in the day and were informed that the consultation on the trees that was done in 2019 could not be found.

However, the Council provided the Minister with a document with the purported signatures of residents who support the removal of the trees.

In response, Minister Dharamlall noted that a subsequent consultation will be scheduled and supported by proper documentation to be part of the final report.

Minister of Local Local Government and Regional Development, Hon. Nigel Dharamlall and Regional Chairman, Mr. Brentnol Ashley inspect one of the “rubber trees” that was cut down on Philbert Pierre Avenue, Mabaruma

Residents at the meeting were encouraged to participate in the upcoming consultation which will guide Government’s decision on the removal of the trees. On January 27, Minister Dharamlall announced a halt of the cutting of the trees after citizens at home and in the diaspora raised concerns about the exercise.