Mexico and the Ministry of Natural Resources to Partner on the Development of Spatial Data Infrastructure for Guyana

Georgetown, Guyana, April 13, 2018. Mexico’s National Institute of Statistics and Geography (INEGI) in collaboration with the Ministry of Natural Resources is implementing a project to develop a Spatial Data Infrastructure for Guyana’s Natural Resources Sector.

The project focuses on the exchange of experiences and best practices to establish a system that provides government agencies with access to extensive data and tools to support the decision making and policy development processes. This project is part of the Mexico-Guyana Bilateral Cooperation Programme. Two Guyanese officials previously visited INEGI in July 2017 for initial training on the subject.

Minister of Public Telecommunications, Catherine Hughes, underscored the potential of Information and Communication Technology (ICT) to strengthen Guyanese capacities to boost development, speaking at the opening session of the training held at the Mexican Embassy, this Monday. She also stated that this contribution of Mexico can facilitate knowledge-based decision-making for the Government of Guyana, with adequate information on location and movement of assets.

Minister of Natural Resources, Raphael Trotman, expressed that “a review of the present situation of spatial data infrastructure development in Agencies and Ministries in Guyana suggests that the country is ready for the development of a National Spatial Data Infrastructure”. He highlighted as well that the Geospatial Information Management (GIM) Unit, established in 2014, provides spatial data services and support to agencies that fall within the natural resources and environmental sector. More recently, the MNR has been utilizing GeoNode which is a web-based application and platform for developing Geographic Information Systems (GIS) and for deploying Spatial Data Infrastructures.

H.E. Ambassador Ivan Sierra mentioned that “the geographical information system is meant to bolster the development of the Natural Resources sector, which is one of the main drivers of growth”. He added that it is a follow-up step towards the successful implementation of the projects agreed upon during the visit of Prime Minister Nagamootoo and Minister Trotman in 2015, this being the third activity in this area. The priority of the project is a goal-driven collaboration that will eventually result in the implementation of a geoportal.

Two experts from INEGI, Francisco Jiménez, and Aaron Villar visited Guyana on April 9 – 13 with the objective of sharing the details of the foundation of Mexico’s National System of Statistical and Geographic Information with participants from multiple Guyanese Ministries and institutions. Additionally, they will provide training on the development a national portal for data collection.

This information is useful in every sphere of government operations. Applications may include crime analysis and management, national security, urban and regional planning, disaster mitigation, land and natural resource management, transportation planning, education planning, public health, environmental monitoring and management, housing, telecommunications, and energy efficiency analysis.

The benefits of creating data infrastructure are quite numerous and very significant to propelling national development. It is therefore essential that Guyana moves towards the design and implementation of an NSDI as soon as possible to boost economic activities.

This cooperation project presents the opportunity to strengthen the partnership between Mexico and Guyana to enhance the management of Geospatial information in order to increase the effectiveness of monitoring policy and guiding sustainable development from national to community scales.

 

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