“Our Green State Development Strategy in good hands”- Minister Harmon

DPI, Guyana, Friday, December 08, 2017

Minister of State, Joseph Harmon today expressed confidence that Guyana’s Green State development strategy is in good hands and reiterated that the government’s vision is to enable each citizen to have the good life.

Minister of State Joseph Harmon addressing staff members of the Guyana Lands and Survey Commission.

While addressing the Guyana Lands and Survey Commission’s (GLSC) visioning retreat at the impeccable Banquet Hall, Brickdam earlier today, Minister Harmon sought to re-emphasise the need for citizens to champion the cause of climate change in Guyana.

He said the world sees Guyana as the ideal place for championing climate change and Guyanese must see the country in the same vein.

“I am happy that all these things are happening at this time when President David Granger just this morning returned from Kenya, where he was the featured speaker at the United Nations environment activity. Some people who see the trajectory being tracked by the president are becoming nervous about their own importance in the environment,” the minister said.

According to Minister Harmon, the government also envisages Guyana to be a leader in the international movement to combat climate change, by placing the country’s ecological resources at the service of humanity.

“Our green state development strategy is on good hands. People all around the world are recognizing us for who and what we are,” the minister pointed out.

Meanwhile, the Minister of State said the role of the GLSC in helping Guyana to meet its goals, provides certain challenges. According to the Minister, the country’s history, its demographic and geographic disposition and economic circumstances, present several challenges, which must be addressed if the government’s vision for Guyana is to be realised.

Some participants at the retreat.

Some of these challenges include the great disparity in land development on the coastland and the in hinterland, the concentration of the population on the coastland, squatting and the prevalence of illegal occupation of state lands, especially state reserves, land degradation due to rapid upsurge in land occupancy and economic activity and the existence of several land rights controversies that require resolution.

Minister Harmon observed that while the bulk of the natural resources are in the hinterland, the absence of human resources, lack of infrastructure and efficient public service and reliable communication, are major hindrances to the development of services, infrastructure and the movement and settlement of people in these regions.

However, he said, the GLSC must manage the entire process of movement, settlement and exploitation in the hinterland in a sustainable way; a formidable task, since it is required in a short space of time.

He noted that the concentration of the population on the coastland also poses several challenges. He explained that the absence and limited availability of infrastructure and services outside of the occupied areas, make people reluctant to move out of these communities. He observed rather than move out these areas, persons prefer to live in terrible conditions, including squatting on reserve.

The GLSC was given its legislative parameter by the GLDA Act no 15 of 999, which was assented to in 2001 and which addresses the area of management and the sustainable use of land in Guyana.

 

By: Alexis Rodney

 

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