… Controversial Suriname map
Forestry critic, Janette Bulkan, who is under fire from government, has denied that she was present at an October meeting in Washington where Suriname reportedly presented a map of that country showing part of Guyana’s territory as Suriname.
In a response to an article in Sunday’s edition of Kaieteur News under the headline, “Gov’t protests Suriname’s map showing Guyana’s territory – demands Janette Bulkan’s
removal from key World Bank panel”, Bulkan said that she found it odd that government was treating as news in January, an event that happened in Washington D.C. at the end of October.
“ I wish to point out that I was not present at the meeting of the Participants Committee of the Forest Carbon Partnership Facility. So I could hardly have protested the display of a map at a meeting at which I was not present.
“Another Guyanese member of the same Technical Advisory Panel (TAP) was also not present at the Washington forum, and so likewise could not have made a comment.”
In November, the government filed a protest with the World Bank over a map of Suriname that included part of Guyana’s territory which was presented at a recent forum in Washington, D.C.
Additionally, the government has asked for the removal of Bulkan, a forestry critic, from a technical panel of the World Bank’s Forest Carbon Partnership Facility (FCPF), stating that the country has serious concerns over her ability to be an objective assessor in that body.
The concerns were raised in a letter, leaked to this newspaper, and written by the Ministry of Agriculture. The letter was signed by Minister Robert Persaud and dated November 26, 2009, and copied to President Bharrat Jagdeo; Commissioner of Forestry, James Singh; and Benoit Bousquet, World Bank’ FCPF.
The correspondence explained that in October, Guyana and a number of other countries participated in the World Bank’s FCPF in Washington, D.C.
Guyana said that the meeting was a successful one in which it had the opportunity to inform the participants on the rapid advances being made on the country’s Low Carbon Development Strategy (LCDS) and its Readiness Planning Preparation Activities (RPP).
Discussed, also, was the development of Guyana’s Monitoring, Reporting and Verification System (MRVS) framework.
“Unfortunately, however, two issues were brought to my attention, both of which the Guyana Government seeks your urgent intervention on. First, we are now aware that Janette Bulkan has been selected as an expert of the Technical Advisory Panel (TAP) and she was a reviewer of the Suriname’s RPP. This is a most alarming development,” the Minister said in the letter.
The Ministry said that it is a known fact that Bulkan has “been guilty” of writing public, critical articles of Guyana’s forestry sector filled with inaccuracies; distortions of facts; and unsubstantiated allegations of corruption, bribery and illegal logging.
“Her correspondences are also defamatory and slanderous, accusing Government officials including the President of Guyana of being incompetent and involved in clandestine activities. Even when responses to her correspondences expose her poor understanding of sustainable forest management principles; and debunk her slanderous comments, defamation, and inaccuracies, Ms. Bulkan refuses to concede and persists publicly with her hidden agenda.”
It is against this background, the letter stated, that the government has the opinion that such a person would not be an objective assessor.
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