May 31, 2018 News Comments Off on Amerindian Land Titling project facing challenges $500M spent, 20 percent completed…
With twenty percent of land demarcation completed and $500M spent on the Amerindian Land Titling Project, the Ministry of Indigenous People’s Affairs is seeking an extension for the project scheduled to end in October.
Minister of Indigenous People’s Affairs, Sydney Allicock, said while work is ong
oing; some technical and political issues within some communities have stalled progress.
Addressing the Parliamentary Sectoral Committee on Natural Resources at the National Assembly yesterday, Minister Allicock said the situation is not about money, but the lack of time.
He noted, “We know that the work is time-consuming. We need to have more technical people, more staff more equipment and have the GRM [Grievance Redress Mechanism]. We have included that group to help in the speedy operation of disputes in the communities.”
Speaking to journalists after the formal meeting chaired by committee Chairman MP Odinga Lumumba, the Minister explained that much could have been accomplished if it were not for the teething problems in some indigenous villages. He explained, “When you meet in these communities it is a total political divide. Sort of an uneasiness. I am aware that if persons were not respected before, they will always be sort of suspicious of whoever goes in,” the minister told journalists.
The Ministry is hoping to have at least four indigenous communities be completely demarcated by October and, with an extension, begin the process in other communities.
Under the Guyana REDD + Investment Fund (GRIF), the Government in 2013 signed a US$10.7M document for the implementation of the Amerindian Land Titling and Demarcation project, which concluded in 2016. However, the Ministry requested an extension in 2017, resulting in $165M being earmarked for the advancing of the remaining identified areas for land titling.
So far, 13 communities have applied for absolute grants for the first time. Out of that amount, seven have received approval and six demarcated. Out of 23 communities, 14 have been issued with Certificates of Title.
The ALT project seeks to achieve three major goals: completion of land titles issues and demarcation process for all Amerindian villages that submitted requests, increased use of existing and alternative mechanisms to resolve land titling disputes and thirdly a communication strategy including a handbook describing the process of titling, demarcation and social economic impact of secured land tenure.
With the challenges within the communities, Minister Allicock surmises that the project could come to an end in maybe ten years’ time.
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