Compliance in the natural resources and environmental sectors should be predicated on knowledge and awareness. This notion was amplified this week by Director of Compliance at the Ministry of Natural Resources, Mr. Derrick Lawrence.
The Compliance Department of the Ministry coordinates a quarterly Inter-Agency Compliance Collaboration Forum with agencies under the purview of the Ministry of Natural Resources and the Ministry of the Presidency.
The forum hosted its first Inter-Agency Stakeholders’ Engagement on Monday (April 29, 2019) at the Bartica Community Centre. Six government agencies which regulate and manage aspects of Guyana’s natural resources and environment were part of that first Stakeholders’ Engagement. The agencies represented were: the Guyana Forestry Commission, the Guyana Geology and Mines Commission, the Guyana Gold Board, the Protected Areas Commission, the Guyana Wildlife Conservation and Management Commission, and the Guyana Lands and Surveys Commission.
“This is the beginning of a dialogue between you the stakeholders and the regulatory agencies in the sector,” said Mr. Lawrence, who acted as the engagement’s Chairman. Lawrence made the point that the occasion provided the opportunity for citizens to engage with the regulatory agencies in relationship building and information sharing, rather than the more common compliance monitoring and enforcement exercises.
He noted that under the Green State Development Strategy, Bartica is earmarked to become a model Green Town and therefore appropriate for the launch of these inter-agency outreaches. He also encouraged all in attendance to take advantage of the presence of the senior technical officers from the relevant agencies.
The residents of Bartica who attended the forum posed a number of questions to the agencies and received appropriate answers and clarification on issues.
The exchanges were lively and vibrant and the residents had the opportunity for further one on one discussions with the representatives of the agencies after the stakeholders’ engagement concluded.
Similar stakeholder engagements are planned for the towns of Lethem and Mahdia in the coming weeks and the dates will be announced when finalised. Residents of these towns are encouraged to document their issues and come ready to engage the agencies.