The Ministry of Indigenous Peoples’ Affairs has successfully completed the investigations for 45 hinterland communities identified for land titling and demarcation. This was confirmed by Coordinator of the Amerindian Land Titling (ALT) project, Enrique Monize.
Sixty-eight communities were initially targeted and 23 villages were investigated in the early stages of the project.
Monize also disclosed that the ministry is now in the process of surveying these villages and completing those reports and discussing the way forward with the relevant agencies.
“This process is a very long one (and) we had some setbacks. We have ten villages that are not giving consent for demarcation, and so we couldn’t move forward so we had to stop those 10 villages. This set us back a bit further because we could have already completed some of those communities,” Monize explained.
“The issue with state lands is that Forestry has interest in terms of giving out land concessions, Lands and Surveys gives out leases, the Guyana Geology and Mines Commission (GGMC) gives out mining concessions and we also have the Protected Areas Commission which has an amount of land that is legally given to that commission to manage and so we have to take all of this into consideration.”
In Regions Seven and Eight, where there is heavy mining, the process for land application and extension takes a longer period.
Under the Guyana REDD + Investment Fund (GRIF), the Government of Guyana in 2013, signed a US$10.7Million agreement for the implementation of the Land Titling and Demarcation project. This project is being spearheaded by the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP).
The ALT project seeks to enable indigenous people to secure their lands and natural resources for sustainable social and economic development. Titling and demarcation will strengthen land tenure security and the expansion of the asset base of Amerindians, enabling improved long-term planning for future development.