One of the latest studies on the Guyana Geology and Mines Commission (GGMC) has found that the entity is woefully incapable of regulating mining activities.
The study which was done by the Inter-American Development Bank (IDB) notes that the Commission simply does not have the human resources or the full complement of modern equipment and vehicles needed to monitor or regulate the sector.
The IDB report bemoaned this state of affairs at the Commission while noting that it has been left unaddressed for more than six years. Be that as it may, the IDB recommended several solutions which could be adopted going forward to improve the Commission’s regulation of the sector.
The Bank recommended that the Commission’s monitoring system be extended to include local actors such as residents in mining communities, community-based organizations, and local authorities such as the Regional Democratic Council and/or Neighborhood Democratic Council as active watchdogs.
Rather than granting miners’ claims that are far apart, the IDB said that the Commission should ensure that these be concentrated in specific locations. Alternatively, it said that claims could be granted to small groups (clusters) rather than individuals. The Bank believes that this would reduce the number of people to be regulated.
As it relates to technologies such as drones, the Bank said that Geographic Information Systems (GIS), and geo-referencing tracking devices could be used to monitor miners and random checks carried out where the environmental risks are higher. The Bank is of the belief that increasing awareness and providing training to miners on environmentally friendly practices need to be boasted. As such, it said that the awareness exercises should be undertaken periodically.
“For instance, before claims are issued or renewed, miners should be required to attend awareness sessions that focus on environmentally technologies and practices,” the Bank concluded on this matter.