With the aim of fostering cooperation and collaboration, the Ministry of Natural Resources (MNR) yesterday facilitated a joint meeting of the Boards of the Guyana Forestry Commission (GFC), Guyana Geology and Mines Commission (GGMC), and the Guyana Gold Board (GGB).
Present were the Minister of Natural Resources Raphael Trotman; Chairwoman of the GFC board Jocelyn Dow; Chairman of the GGMC board Stanley Ming; Chairman of the GGB GHK Lall; and senior representatives of MNR and the respective boards.
In opening remarks, Minister Trotman classed the Thursday meeting as historic and made it known that it stands as an opportunity for greater collaboration and cooperation between the agencies and sectors.
The Minister, who was the facilitator, earmarked five areas for discussion: the Forest Restoration Programme (FRP); rehabilitation and maintenance of hinterland roads; the use of available technology for enhanced resource management; data sharing; and monitoring and enforcement operations.
Chair of the GFC Jocelyn Dow highlighted that all present possess common and differentiated responsibilities to the development of the natural resources sector and as such must ensure that synergies can be found to ensure development that is fair and sustainable.
The meeting also saw outcomes regarding an agreement to have the forestry and mining sector share responsibilities and work together to promote sustainable development. As such, the grouping agreed on the establishment of a Joint Committee to further the objectives regarding land reclamation and forest restoration, road maintenance and rehabilitation, and technology use and data sharing.
At the close of the meeting, the GGMC, through Commissioner Newell Dennison, committed to continuing to contribute its efforts towards reclamation in particular and made known its openness to collaboration in moving from reclamation to full restoration.
Mr Dennison also updated those present on the ongoing and planned hinterland road projects that were being done in conjunction with the Ministry of Public Infrastructure.
During the fruitful discussions, the boards all agreed to deepen engagements and to continue discussions towards developing a common understanding and approach in the management of the natural resources sector.
Immediately following the meeting, the Minister held a press conference where he briefed the media on the outcomes of the meeting, along with offering a complete update on the continued work and achievements of the Ministry and sector agencies.
Minister Trotman pointed out the successful work of the GFC, GGB, and the GGMC, referencing the mid-year report, and highlighted some of the projects that the Ministry has undertaken.
These are the Green Spaces Initiative, the Youth in Natural Resources Apprenticeship Programme, the work on mercury reduction in accordance with the Minamata convention, the farming and sports donations initiative, back to school drive, and ministerial outreaches.