Eyewitness: Taking care


…of our forest?

For most of your Eyewitness’s life, he was made to feel embarrassed because more than 3/4 of his country was covered with forests. Forests weren’t civilisation – in fact, they were its very antithesis, and were dubbed “jungles”. Savages live in jungles! Can you imagine the embarrassment of telling someone abroad, “I come from the jungle”?? How would they know that most of the 800,000 of us are strung along the Atlantic Coast like ants clinging to a string with honey!!?

Your Eyewitness just read a laudatory piece by a foreign journalist, praising our supposed “4 person per square mile” population density! Makes you believe each one of us is living in sprawling ranches or homesteads in the forests, don’t they? Little do they know that, in reality, we have one of the highest population densities around – comparable to the micro-island states in the Caribbean!! And we’re still fighting to get house lots packed 8 to an acre of land!! Talk about living “cheek to jowl” – ours is more like “baattie and poe”!!

Anyhow the aforementioned article offers a perspective to a hopefully new norm when looking in forests. As we heard from the Glasgow COP26, a lot of lip service was given to prevent mankind from toppling over the edge of No-return on Global Warming. Rather than the big polluters taking the bull by the horns and cutting back on their fossil fuel use, they’re looking at ways wherein they can have their (manufacturing) cake and eat it too. And one way is to motivate those of us who have lots of forests to keep them standing – so that they can suck in the carbon dioxide they produce and sequester it as “wood”!!

And as all of us know, the best motivator is cold, hard cash!! Through the foresight of then President (and now VP) Jagdeo, Guyana has a head start in monetising forests for the national cause. As far back as 2009, he arranged to keep our deforestation rate below a certain percentage of our standing forests, and collected a cool US$250 million!! At the time, a lotta folks thought he was kidding: being paid NOT to cut trees!!?

So here we are, once again looking at the world quite virtuously with our forests standing – especially with Bolsonaro next door in Brazil chopping down trees worse than young George Washington and that famous cherry tree!! The story by the foreign stringer noted that, last year alone, Brazil had felled trees in an area greater than the entire country of Netherlands!! Well, they figured their readership would know how large Netherlands was!!
For us, we can stop being uncomfortable at our country’s forests, and start boasting we’re saving the world!!

…of refugees

Your Eyewitness is also very proud we’re now home to more than 25,000 refugees. All from Venezuela. While some might be squirming that our demographics are being overturned, maybe that’s not such a bad thing. We haven’t done that hot with our present demographics for ourselves over the past 55 years, have we? Maybe we need to be shaken up by the realisation that if we don’t look out, we may just lose corn and husk!!

But another powerful reason for us to welcome these refugees is because their country did the same for 50,000 Guyanese after Burnham had destroyed our country – much as Chavez and his puppet Maduro have done to Venezuela!! In fact, a lot of those that we’re calling “Venezuelan refugees” are actually the children of those same Guyanese who went over and found refuge.

Then there are the Indigenous members of the Warao tribe. Why should they be called “refugees” because of lines called “borders”?
Weren’t all of those lands once theirs??

…against new COVID-19 threat

As your Eyewitness warned some days ago, experience should’ve taught us that there can’t ever be something called “overreaction” against new strains of COVID. See all those countries locking off their borders against “Omicron”?
Why aren’t we doing the same?