Natural Resources Ministry to complete MOU with Toshaos’ Council
─ ministry to open a compliance division that will have resident officers within communities alert the ministry about infractions
DPI, Guyana, Tuesday, July 24, 2018
Minister of Natural Resources, Raphael Trotman said his ministry will be continuing negotiations with the new National Toshaos Council (NTC) towards the signing of a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) between the two.
Back in December 2017, the MNR and the then NTC began discussing areas of possible cooperation for an MOU. With a new council in place, Minister Trotman said he will be continuing talks in this regard. He was addressing toshaos on Friday on the final day of the National Toshaos’ Council conference at the Arthur Chung Conference Centre.
“We would like to complete that process and the intention is to enhance relations between ourselves because many of the complaints we hear are repeated and cut across all ministries,” Minister Trotman said.
He said the government is seeking to ensure respect for the rule of law within the sector, while at the same time provide a good working relationship with the communities. He said too that the government will advance monitoring and reporting.
“It is a lot of funding and you can be our eyes and ears in so far as telling us what to do. Local knowledge is prime, and the best knowledge and we would like to work with that” Minister Trotman said.
He said the ministry will be opening a compliance division that will have resident officers within communities alert the ministry about any infractions.
The MOU was proposed by the NTC in 2017, after identifying a number of areas for which it needs the support of the Natural Resources Ministry. These include gaps in communication and information sharing; forest concessions being granted contiguous to indigenous lands; mining in indigenous communities and the need for monetary resources for the NTC, among others.
Minister Trotman had pledged to work with the NTC to find a positive way forward.
By: Alexis Rodney
Image: Keno George