Oct 23, 2020 News
Kaieteur News – On Wednesday, the Amerindian Peoples Association (APA) met with the Ministry of Amerindian Affairs to discuss ways in which the organisation can further support the development of Indigenous Peoples in Guyana.
Present at the meeting were the Minister of Amerindians Affairs, Pauline Sukhai; the Ministry’s Parliamentary Secretary(PS), Ms. Sarah Brown; the APA President, Lemmel Benson Thomas; Executive Director Jean La Rose; Policy Officer Sharon Atkinson; Governance and Rights Coordinator, Laura George; and GIS Specialist and Forest Policy Officer, Michael McGarrell.
The release stated that the APA team provided the Minister and the PS, with an overview of the priority areas of work for the organisation. These included works with the following project partners to varying extent, over the past five years: The Rainforest Foundation US with NORAD funding; the Tenure Facility; the Nia Tero Foundation; Forest Peoples Programme with NICFI funding; IUCN Ecuador with EU funding.
A written submission was also presented to the Minister, containing a description of each project, as well as the efforts of the organisation in supporting Indigenous communities during the COVID-19 pandemic.
Meanwhile, Minister Sukhai in her remarks stated that she has been following the activities of the organisation and looks forward to future collaborations with the APA for the continued development of Indigenous Peoples across the country.
As a rights advocacy group, the APA noted that it would continue to work to support political administrations in ensuring that the rights of Indigenous Peoples are protected, that the right to Free, Prior and Informed Consent is respected in project, programme, legislative and policy reform and development.
Notably, the APA would also continue to advocate for Indigenous Peoples to be given spaces for effective participation and inclusion in decision-making at the national.
In closing, the team highlighted that it would continue to work on ensuring that projects, legislation and policy are developed, to make lasting contributions to the furtherance of democracy in Guyana and the sustainable development of the interior would reduce the proliferation of conflicts around land and natural resources and enhance the platform for Guyana’s leadership on global climate action.
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