It is with interest I read of the Monday, December 26th 2011 Stabroek News online article titled ‘Norway deal likely for review by new Parliament’ with the views attributed to AFC leader (but not Presidential Candidate) Raphael Trotman, who is reported as saying that the ‘reviewing the LCDS to remove conditions that are excessively adverse to small miners and loggers are among the priority issues for the party’ and that the “opposition dominated new Parliament plans to review several deals and miners have in the past called for a percentage of land to be exempted from the Guyana-Norway deal since they feel they cannot meet the standards.”
The AFC Chairman (and Presidential Candidate) Khemraj Ramjattan is quoted as saying ‘The AFC is never going to allow employment creation to be subsidiary to the LCDS programme.’
While it is well and good to call for an examination of the LCDS it is interesting to note the AFC’s intent to “remove conditions that are adverse to small miners and loggers…” Perhaps, before undertaking this review, it may be useful for the AFC to develop an understanding of the current situation as it regards mining and forestry in Guyana and also what the LCDS is trying to do.
I wish to make the following observations:
– Having read the LCDS several times, I am still to understand where it has called for a curtailing of mining and forestry. In fact, the LCDS talks about improving efficiency and performance in these sectors so that Guyana can continue to expand these sectors and at the same time maintain its forest cover and low deforestation rate and thereby qualify for payments under REDD+.
– The LCDS has not introduced any new laws or regulations for mining or forestry. The current laws and regulations have been in existence prior to the LCDS.
– An examination of the current situation will reveal that with the current prices of gold, mining activities have mushroomed in Guyana.
Everyone wants to be a miner. Yet, with the high level of production, and huge windfalls in cash, the miners are not investing in proper environmental practices. Take a look at the Konawaruk River, Cuyuni and Mazaruni Rivers, Groete Creek and the list can go on. Even the mighty Essequibo River is being discoloured.
And the impact is not only on our watersheds, look at the steep increase in deforestation in 2010 and expected in 2011 as well.
From the report done by Poyry consultants as part of the LCDS (and available on the GFC website) mining along contributed almost 10,000 (ten thousand) hectares in forest loss in 2010, the largest by any other sector.
– It seems as if miners want to hoodwink the politicians and the Guyanese public into believing the LCDS is curtailing their production. The numbers clearly do not indicate that. More importantly, however, is the clear unwillingness of the mining sector to adhere to the existing mining laws and regulations even when they now have the financial wherewithal to do so.
To the leaders of the AFC, I wish to say to you, let reality guide your approach. To our conservation organisations such as WWF, Conservation International, Iwokrama, you have been very quiet on this issue of mining and the environment. Is it that you are afraid to speak out on this issue? Is the mining cartel so powerful in Guyana?
As a proud Guyanese I am concerned about the future of the environment of my country. I am concerned that our forests are being cut down indiscriminately and our land of many waters is constantly being polluted in the name of short-term financial rewards. I am not against logging and mining, once it is done properly and in accordance with the laws.
I believe the LCDS offers us a good opportunity to manage our natural resources in the right manner, to create new jobs by improving value-adding in forestry and mining, and also creating new and emerging opportunities from safeguarding our forests.
To Mr. Ramjattan and Mr. Trotman, I want to leave you a simple quote from the Cree Indians “Only after the last tree has been cut down, Only after the last river has been poisoned, Only then, will we realize that money cannot be eaten.”
Apr 08, 2020On Monday evening last, the Ministry of Public Health (MoH) confirmed the passing of Deryck ‘Mad Dog’ Jaisingh as the latest fatality of the Covid-19 disease. Jaisingh was very well known...
Apr 08, 2020
Apr 07, 2020
Apr 07, 2020
Apr 07, 2020
Apr 06, 2020
One of the deep mysteries that the 2020 election result has given rise to is a gargantuan contradiction between the words... more
The statement below appeared on a Facebook page. The page is purported to be connected to either the APNU+AFC or its supporters. The... more
Editor’s Note, If your sent letter was not published and you felt its contents were valid and devoid of libel or personal attacks, please contact us by phone or email.
Feel free to send us your comments and/or criticisms.
Contact: 624-6456; 225-8452; 225-8458; 225-8463; 225-8465; 225-8473 or 225-8491.
Or by Email: [email protected] / [email protected]