Government is negotiating a four-year extension of the land titling project from the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) which is the project’s oversight body.
The project, funded through the Guyana Redd + Investment Fund (GRIF) comes to end in October 2016.
However, if Government is not successful in securing an extension, it has budgeted to cater for titling 30 more communities in 2017.
This was disclosed by the Minister of Indigenous Peoples’ Affairs Sydney Allicock in an interview with the Government Information Agency (GINA).
Minister of Indigenous Peoples’ Affairs, Sydney Allicock
“In the 2017 budget we have budgeted for that period. If we don’t get the funding needed, we would have enough funding (from 2017) to hopefully do another 30 communities for 2017.”
Once the money is acquired, Minister Allicock noted that it will be used to acquire aerial videography services which will hasten the demarcation of boundaries in the communities.
Black Field Survey Area Incorporated at the recently concluded National Toshaos Council (NTC) Meeting made a proposal for a 50 percent discount to the Government for conducting the land survey for the demarcation project. The proposal is one that the Minister sees as feasible since it will hasten the demarcation process.
According to Minister Allicock, the company did a survey in St. Cuthbert’s Mission and was able to collect findings within four days. “This will help us in the areas of overlapping communities or if there is doubt where miners are concerned, if they are intruding, that sort of technology with, the drone, it will show you what is happening,” Minister Allicock explained.
The Minister pointed out that the use of the technology would not in any way put surveyors out of work, but rather help make their work a bit easier. Minister Allicock stated, “This will complement what the surveyors are doing. It would be easier for them to now go on the ground to have their GPS reading, and put their plots or reference points.”
On Saturday, 1o indigenous communities received land titles from President David Granger.
The US$10.7M land titling project seeks to enable Indigenous people to secure their lands and natural resources with a view towards sustainable social and economic development.