Several Indigenous communities are expected to be titled and demarcated under the extended Amerindian Land Titling and Demarcation project this year.
Four Miles in Port Kaituma, Region One and Kambaru Region Seven will be the first set of communities to receive their land title documents.
Mashabo, Capoey and Mainstay in Region Two and are some of the communities that are slated for extension this year. Paramatakoi in Region Eight has already been extended.
During an interview with the Government Information Agency (GINA), Fourth Vice President and Minister of Indigenous Peoples’ Affairs, Sydney Allicock, explained that the project was given an extension. “Remember we had this two- year extension, which we had a two-year review and the document developed…that has to be given the green light which we had three attempts. Last Thursday we had the relevant players and after we had a lengthy discussion, the project has now (been) given the go ahead,” Minister Allicock said.
The ministry will now have to recruit additional staff to work in the various communities to assist with the demarcation, and ensure that the residents fully understand the process. Persons will also be trained to use drones to help with the mapping of areas.
“We are going to have the picture of the land that is under discussion so we are going to be moving now, and we have at least seven communities that have been identified… We wanted to do eleven, but the target is seven,” Minister Allicock pointed out.
Under the Guyana REDD + Investment Fund (GRIF), Government in 2013 signed a US$10.7M document for the implementation of the Land Titling and Demarcation project. The project came to an end in 2016; however the Ministry requested an extension in the 2017 budget. This resulted in $165 M earmarked for the advancing of the remaining identified areas for land titling.
In 2016, almost 1,000 square kilometres of land were demarcated in Regions One, Seven, and Eight.
This project, which is being spearheaded by the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP), seeks to protect Indigenous rights and create livelihood opportunities for residents.