A new approach to environmental management that embraces a synergistic approach is one that is being embraced by the Ministry of Natural Resources. And this is being implemented through a programme that is being
implemented through the Guyana Geology and Mines Commission (GGMC).
The initiative, which will take on the form of a Mining School that will be headed by Mr. John Applewhite, is being supported by the United Nation’s Development Fund (UNDP). Towards this end, the UNDP represented by Resident Representative, Ms. Khadija Musa, yesterday handed over millions of dollars in equipment to Minister of Natural Resources, Mr. Raphael Trotman.
Speaking of the venture yesterday, Minister Trotman noted that it is one that is entitled ‘Enhancing biodiversity protection through strengthening, monitoring, enforcement and uptake of environmental regulations in Guyana’s gold mining sector’.
Its intent, according to Trotman is, “As we pursue our goal of developing the resources of Guyana, extracting and exploiting them, we will do so in a respectful and sustainable manner…respecting the environment and ensuring that after we would have finished what it is we are doing, we will to the best of our abilities restore the environment to its original state so that future generations may benefit from it.”
The initiative, according to Minister Trotman, has three components with the first looking at non-compliance with mining-related environmental regulations and illegal mining; addressing insufficient personal and institutional capacity to enforce the regulatory framework and to address the issues of insufficient capacity to implement the environmental regulations and codes of practices among miners.
Among the items handed over yesterday were 30 turbidity test kits and according to the Natural Resources Minister, one test kit is valued almost US$29,000. The items he received yesterday also included salt sieves, measuring cylinders, pipettes, iron meters, conical flasks, among others, all valued at US$50,000 or G$10 million.
“We would like to thank the UNDP in a very big way for this,” said Minister Trotman who was accompanied by Minister within the Natural Resources Minister, Simona Broomes and GGMC’s Commissioner, Mr Newell Dennison.
Before ceremonially handing over the procured items to Minister Trotman yesterday, Musa noted that the collaboration represents the continuation of a Natural Resources programme under a project called ‘Mainstreaming biodiversity in the mining sector’. The project she made reference to started sometime in the latter part of 2015.
The continuance of the programme, Musa said is crucial to help train trainers who will be in a position to help ensure that environmental protection and biodiversity are being made a priority.
“Of course the government emphasises biodiversity to make sure that the nation is protected…we continue to strengthen the ability of the country to ensure that biodiversity remains intact and is strengthened for the Guyanese people and protected for future generations, and this is crucial,” said Musa as she emphasised that the current initiative is expected to span a period of three years.
UNDP, Musa added, is also involved in much bigger programmes on environmental protection and biodiversity which is being designed and will be worth about US$6 million in the future. She added too that “the important thing is that in all areas of the environment to ensure that skills and capacity are developed and the country has the manpower it needs to verify and ensure the right practices are being used.”
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