Minister of Natural Resources meets NTC on matters of mutual interest – Commits to ongoing dialogue

Wednesday, July 25, 2018

Minister of Natural Resources Hon. Raphael Trotman today met with a delegation from the National Toshaos Council (NTC) headed by newly elected Chairman Toshao Nicholas Fredericks and including a number of other executive members.  The meeting also included a delegation from the Guyana Geology and Mines Commission (GGMC) led by Commissioner Newell Dennison and the Amerindian Peoples Association (APA) led by Executive Director, Jean LaRose.

The meeting came as a request from the NTC and identified a number of issues of interest to both the NTC and the Ministry of Natural Resources.

Minister Trotman congratulated the new executive members of the NTC and renewed his commitment for a closer working relationship between the Ministry and the NTC. He noted the need for open and frank discussions and for the two sides to engage more frequently.

Among the issues raised by the NTC was the 2017 ruling of the Caribbean Court of Justice in the Wayne Vieira vs GGMC case that involved land situated in the Tassawini area of the Northwest Mining District. Minister Trotman provided the NTC delegation with copies of the CCJ ruling and noted that while the ruling of the CCJ must be respected, this does not negate the enforceability of the Amerindian Act.

The NTC delegation questioned the issuance of Cease Work Orders by the GGMC and promised to provide Minister Trotman with a list of questions pertaining to Cease Work Orders, the involvement of foreign partners in mining companies and other matters for which they would like documented responses. They also raised the issue of Human Trafficking.

Both parties reiterated their commitment to the finalization of a Memorandum of Understanding between the Ministry of Natural Resources and the NTC that would address good governance, protection, conservation and sustainable management of indigenous community lands and natural resources and communications between the Ministry and the NTC.

It was agreed that the two parties would meet again on August 15, 2018 to continue the discussions.