Six more land titles and demarcation to be completed in 2020
−As ALT project moves ahead
DPI, Guyana, Monday, December 9, 2019
Vice President and Minister of Indigenous Peoples’ Affairs, Hon. Sydney Allicock has announced that six land titles will be completed in 2020 under the Amerindian Land Titling (ALT) project.
He told the DPI that investigations are ongoing in four communities and two more are expected to be completed next year.
“Next year, we go back to do the proper demarcation in these communities. We have to get the people involved. We are very happy that we are moving with the project,” Minister Allicock said.
Minister Allicock noted that the process of Free Prior and Informed Consent (FPIC) must be followed when embarking on land demarcation.
He also explained that the ministty had organised training for the villages and provided the village leaders with GPS equipment so they could be fully involved in the process.
For instance, in Karasabai, Region 9, the area was surveyed on two occasions to the dissatisfaction of the residents.
“When they go on the ground and check, it was not corresponding with the map so it’s only recently the whole team with the surveyors found the missing area,” Minister Allicock related.
Five more Indigenous communities – Kangaruma and Tasserene, Region 7; Yupukari, Region 9 and St. Monica and Mainstay/Whyaka, Region 2 – received certificates of titles for their lands during the National Toshaos Conference in October.
According to Minister Allicock, they were among nine communities approved by the government in September for titling and extensions.
“Four had some adjustments because some of the communities were not satisfied. These are mining and logging areas so they have to return and be satisfied before we have any additional problems,” he said.
The ALT project began in 2013 when the then government signed a $2.2Billion (US$11M) document for the implementation of the Amerindian Land Titling and Demarcation project, which concluded in 2016.
But many of the communities selected were not titled at the end of the process. In 2017, the current government sought to extend the project and a further $165Million was earmarked to advance the titling process for those communities.
The ALT project has three primary goals: completion of land title issues and demarcation process for all Indigenous villages that submitted requests; increased use of existing and alternative mechanisms to resolve land titling disputes; and thirdly, a communication strategy, including a handbook describing the process of titling, demarcation, and socio-economic impact of secured land tenure.