The National Toshaos Council (NTC) and Conservation International Foundation Guyana Inc (CI-Guyana) on Friday, signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) to design and test tools which are needed to support the sustainable development of villages.
This will be done through the incorporation of the United Nations REDD+ (forest-saving initiative) and Free, Prior and Informed Consent principles.
- Vice-President and Minister of Indigenous People’s Affairs, Sydney Allicock signing as a witness on the Memorandum of Understanding between the National Toshaos’ Council (NTC) and Conservation International Foundation Guyana Inc (CI-Guyana) on Friday
NTC Chairman, Joel Fredericks and Head of CI-Guyana Dr. David Singh signed the agreement in the presence of Vice-President and Minister of Indigenous Peoples’ Affairs, Sydney Allicock, and the Vice-Chairman of the NTC, Lennox Shuman after it was endorsed by the majority of the toshaos at the NTC meeting at the Arthur Chung Convention Centre (ACCC), Liliendaal.
This MOU will see CI-Guyana lending support to strengthening NTC, with the aim of allowing more effective decision-making and meeting its overall mandate. Both bodies will collaborate to secure funds to finance the implementation of this agreement.
The Indigenous Peoples’ Affairs, Minister, in his address to the toshaos present, said, “I think it is an opportunity that we should not take lightly,” noting that the cooperation will create opportunities for villages to be more effective in their planning and execution of projects.
Meanwhile, the NTC chair said that while he was in support of the agreement, toshaos were not furnished with a draft copy of the MOU in a timely manner, and this caused many concerns among them.
- A section of the indigenous leaders present at the signing of the Memorandum of Understanding between the National Toshaos’ Council (NTC) and Conservation International Foundation Guyana Inc (CI-Guyana) on Friday, at the Arthur Chung Convention Centre (ACCC)
Some said that while the MOU was signed, there is a clear need for further clarification on the functions of CI-Guyana and the benefits that will be derived from the MOU. Some toshaos also raised their concerns of not being able to consult with the residents of their respective communities.
Dr. Singh, in his remarks tried to provide some level of clarification. According to a GINA report, he explained that CI has been operating in Guyana since the late 1980s and has commenced work on the Harpy Eagle conservation, and on the establishment of biodiversity conservation. It has also worked in many villages promoting sustainable development.
CI Guyana’s mandate for nearly 30 years has been protecting nature and helping to build a healthier, more prosperous and productive planet. CI-Guyana was established with the main purpose of assisting the government in creating a national system of protected areas. CI-Guyana’s vision is to establish biodiversity corridors in Guyana, incorporating the anchors of a National Protected Area System, while developing trans-boundary corridors across the Guiana Shield.
The company has employed more than 1,000 people and worked with more than 2,000 partners in 30 countries. Over the years, CI has also helped to support 1,200 protected areas and interventions across 77 countries, safeguarding more than 601 million hectares of land, marine and coastal areas.