Latest update May 27th, 2023 12:27 AM
Jun 26, 2016 News
It is the view of Opposition Leader Bharrat Jagdeo that Minister of Natural Resources, Raphael Trotman, carelessly handled the interest of the country by supporting the allocation of two million hectares of the nation’s forest resources for conservation purposes.
Jagdeo said that on Thursday last, at a press conference he hosted at Freedom House. The pledge referred to was made in April by President David Granger while addressing the United Nations.
According to Jagdeo the pledge has counter-productive terms which will inhibit national development in the future. During his remarks, the former head of state read an excerpt of the pledge which reads: “The conservation of an additional two million hectares through the Guyana’s National Protected Areas System and under Effective Area Base Conservation measures as for Guyana’s commitment including the protection of conservancies and reservoirs and their water sheds and the water sheds upstream of new hydro-power sites.”
Jagdeo continued, “If we do want to develop hydro power in the future, with this pledge, we are going to have a hugely difficult time.”
Jagdeo criticized Trotman for supporting this move. “Trotman has now taken our country into a new area; it is a pure conservation that will harm growth, development and will run counter to the green economy that President Granger speaks about.”
The opposition leader added, “In that pledge Trotman made, he sold out Guyana through bad negotiations and bad pledges; sold out our national interest.”
Jagdeo believes that Trotman is leading the country’s international efforts poorly. He is of the firm belief that it is not a green economic plan but merely a conservation plan that the government is putting forward. Additionally, Jagdeo finds it problematic since such pledges are not made by the developed countries.
He noted that Guyana boasts a deforestation rate of 0.065% which is one of the lowest rates in the world. According to Jagdeo, “This flies in the face of all the lies that Trotman told in parliament that we had given out all the forest lands.”
Jagdeo said that the government has not declared how it will go about procuring the land to satisfy the pledge. “It could very well mean that they will take back land from people who have forest leases; two, from miners, and even if they don’t, it would be two million hectares more of our land that we can’t bring into productive use.”
Speaking on his party’s understanding of conservation he commented saying “our view of conservation was that you should continue to use these resources in a manner that brings benefits to people but in a low environmentally impact way.”
He noted that the PPP/C’s view was a balanced view, considering both development and conservation.
No contracts cast in stone, except Norton and Jagdeo own!
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