Region Nine stakeholders sensitised on hinterland sustainable development project

Georgetown, GINA, July 07, 2016

The draft document for the Hinterland Sustainable Development framework has been presented to Cabinet and the Ministry of Indigenous Peoples’ Affairs is awaiting its approval to commence the implementation process. The framework is aimed at providing financial and technical support to Indigenous communities for achieving sustainable development targets.

Indigenous leaders and other stakeholders recently participated in a two-day workshop organised by the Kanuku Mountain Community Representative Group, where they were sensitised on the Hinterland Sustainable Development Project.

Minister of Indigenous Peoples’ Affairs, Sydney Allicock during brief remarks at the event held in Lethem, Region Nine said the document will seek to address critical issues in health services, education, environmental preservation, traditions and culture, and governance.

The Minister was accompanied by the Ministry’s Permanent Secretary, Vibert Welch, Project Coordinator, Jude DaSilva, Principal Regional Development Officer (RRDO), Anil Roberts and representatives from Conservation International and the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA).

Conservation International is in the process of conducting its final discussions on the framework, as part of an effort to ensure that there isn’t overlapping of projects amongst Ministries, Minister Allicock explained

Minister Allicock said that the framework is intended to address several issues within hinterland communities, especially in Region Nine. “We have been talking about capacity building for the longest while, and we will like to now see results, because it is an investment…after years of having support on projects upon projects, we have to get a more aggressive movement towards sustainable development within your communities,” Minister Allicock pointed out.

Minister Allicock told the participants that they must be able to identify cottage industries, involve women and youths and secure markets if they are to grow economically. “As leaders we must be able to look around us and identify areas which can be ignited into an industry,” he said.

The Minister added that the indigenous people need to stop depending on Georgetown and Brazil and use their imagination and talents to produce their own food and other things that are needed in the communities. The Minister pointed out that Government is committed to supporting any viable project that will benefit the communities, and their residents.

Minister Allicock also urged the participants to play a greater role in overseeing developments being carried out in their communities, and be the engineers, contractors and consultant of projects.

The Hinterland Sustainable Development will be replicated in all the other hinterland regions; One, Seven and Eight, Minister Allicock said, because the Government is committed to developing the lives of all Indigenous peoples.

This Hinterland Sustainable Development framework draft document is the first phase of the execution of the Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) which was signed earlier in the year between the Ministry of Indigenous Peoples’ Affairs and Conservation International. The MOU aims to enhance sustainable development of Indigenous communities, in keeping with Guyana’s green economy efforts.

This project will complement the 10-point plan of action that was announced by President David Granger in 2015, aimed at developing thriving economic units, eradicating extreme poverty, and reducing youth unemployment in hinterland communities.