Guyana prepared to deal with illegal forest activities
Government as part of its continued efforts to pursue the protection of its rainforest and to address issues relating to illegal activities within, inclusive of illegal gold mining united with Suriname and French Guiana to host a workshop. The workshop which saw various enforcement bodies being trained in the use of satellite imaging to avert illegal gold mining operations and forest activities came to an end this afternoon at the Guyana Forestry Commission’s conference room, Kingston.
Minister of Agriculture Robert Persaud is his address expressed gratitude to the representatives of the Suriname and French Guiana Governments. Further, he said Guyana is pleased about this training activity, since it is timely and relevant in the country’s pursuit of its national development objectives.
Minister Persaud also said that, ‘Guyana has always prided itself as a country in being able to manage and ensure that the utilization of its natural resources is done in a sustainable way and also conforms to international standards’, to this end within the context of the Low Carbon Development Strategy (LCDS), Government has a unique agreement with the Kingdom of Norway which will see it receiving payments for environmental services that the forests provide.
On the areas of illegal mining and the collaboration of enforcement agencies, Minister Persaud posited that, “Guyana was successful in eradicating illegal logging; however the issues of illegal mining and activities of some of the mining operations leave much to be desired”.
To this end Government has started re-organising the Guyana Geology and Mines Commission (GGMC), the agency in charge of regulating the mining sector, so that it can be more efficient and effective in curtailing illegal mining operations. Police Attaché, in Charge of Regional Cooperation at the French Embassy in Guyana, Georges Marceau is his address noted that the French embassy is pleased to have mounted the training in accordance with the bilateral cooperation which exists between the two countries.
Marceau also stated that this is the first time that the three countries, referred to as “the Plateau of the Guianas” have been united on one spot to discuss nature conservation and problems of illegal gold mining and the threats to the three countries’ forests.
Over the years Guyana has been successful in protecting its natural resources to prevent illegal activities and has ensured that people do not destroy the environment. They have also been the first to develop a national scale Monitoring Reporting and Verification System (MRVS) for forests, by using both traditional means of monitoring and verifying and employing the latest technology which is satellite imagery.
The training the participants received will reinforce what is needed to be done to improve the national systems in terms of managing and protecting national resources. In 2009 Minister Persaud, at the invitation of the French Government, met with its senior officials to discuss collaborative efforts on activities that will see both countries cooperating and sharing information that will be of use to its pursuit of national development strategies, moreso forest protection.