Joint Press Statement
Ministry of Indigenous Peoples’ Affairs and Conservation International Guyana
Georgetown, Guyana April 6, 2017
Minister of Indigenous Peoples’ Affairs and Vice President Sidney Allicock, speaking at the opening of a Brazil-Guyana Exchange on Tuesday, said that government is very keen on implementing the Sustainable Development Framework (SDF) which his ministry developed with technical support from Conservation International Guyana. SDF, he said, will be instrumental in giving indigenous villages more say in planning for their own development while allowing the ministry to optimize its provision of financial and technical support.
The framework is a tool which helps indigenous villages and communities define and achieve their own long term development vision and goals that are based on their specific needs. The Brazil-Guyana Exchange, part of an ongoing incentives programme, provides a valuable opportunity to share knowledge learn from Brazil about their Bolsa Verde (Green Grant).
It is a very special moment or time in the history of the countries. I bring your greetings from the president and cabinet. They government and my ministry are very keen to see this framework become a reality. We have no doubt that we can capitalize on the Brazilian experience. We will try to learn as much as we can from you. We look forward to that continued growth of partnership. People need people to make people happy. Without people, what would the environment be like? Thank you very much for coming and let us see what the forward movement will be. Last September, my ministry along with the NTC attended the Pan-Amazon Summit. The partnerships we have with key players will result in a sustainable development framework. This framework is critical to long term plan. It will build on our riches. Poverty. Because it is stated over and over again, that you do not have anything of worth. You have …that is richness. What we need to protect our richness, we need to the financial resources. It’s an opportunity for us to reverse this perspective. Think about it. What part does man play in allowing a proper ecosystem to be intact? How do they plan for and contribute to the 17 UNSDGs? Villages need our assistance and technical support. With the implementation of the SDF, we hope to rectify the shortcomings. Special mention to Dr. Singh and team who have been instrumental in providing financial and technical support. We have a mandate to work with 215 communities. To do so effectively we need to collaborate with other partners. We need to support rather than compete. We are working towards finding a new way to do things, build, improve and strengthen what is already there. We will see the changes that we are all working on together for.
Government is now in the process of developing better communications system so that we have communication links across the country. We have to start some place. Within the month we will begin to see results.
Move away from attacking personalities and get to attacking issues so that we can begin to achieve what the framework promises. Respect, trust, commitment.
CI-Guyana Executive Director David Singh identified the important link between nature, people and development. Bolsa Verde (Green Grant), he said, has shown us the strong connection between people and nature and how important it is.
“Working with the Ministry of Indigenous Peoples’ Affairs on the Sustainable Development Framework and with the Regional Democratic Council of Region 9 on the Plan of Action for Regional Development, we recognize that while CI’s business is preserving nature, natural capita…we are here working together to create a future that we all want, that we all need,” Singh told the Guyana and Brazil teams.
Joel Fredericks, NTC
NTC supports the Framework and
The NTC fully supports the framework is because part of NTC’s function is to plan strategically in the best interest of the people. Where there is no vision, the people will perish. How can we work together? We have similar resources and potential. Despite meeting here and planning, if we do not have the support of the politicians and the government, it would be a challenge. As leaders we are only here to serve for a time, and what we can do let us do it to leave a legacy for our people. SDF is good for village development. We need to document this, formalize this. When you have a plan coming from a village then regardless of which leader comes, they will understand.
We have to think in the future and see how we can start putting plans so that our generation to come will not say “hey, what they really did with all this resource”. We need some action.
Leonardo Pacheco Government of Brazil Representative
Bolsa Verde is one of the most important policies for the Ministry of Environment. We look forward to learning from Guyana. It is important for us to see how different policies are working in different countries so that we can learn to deal with our challenges.
The history of conservation in Brazil…incorporating the idea of people at the center of the conservation solution. People are the drivers of conservation. BV launched in 2011 to handle conservation and to tackle the extremely high levels of poverty there.
Fernando Ribeiro, CI-Brazil
This is a good opportunity to share a lot of important lessons with you and to explore opportunities for collaboration. This is based on a broader initiative, the Social Protection Network, Brazil, Ecuador and Guyana. People need nature to thrive and people also need people to thrive. (We speak of ourselves as being separate from nature when we really are one with it).
NRDDB Executive Director Eugene Xavier
We are a local organization that is made up of 20 indigenous communities in the NR. Throughout the years, we have come a far way and today we have developed relationships with partners. CI – Guyana, WWF and Iwokrama have been some of our main partners. We feel so proud to have such friends. “We need each other…for not only human development but other developments to come.” We need to reflect on the past and look ahead for other things that will benefit our people. People are beginning to understand ownership and the need to care for nature. We need the forest to survive as people, we need to reconnect with nature…our partners reinforce the spirit of togetherness and strive to keep our forests standing. The need to come back together in love with nature.
We are trying to be much more of a supporter and participator in this process. NORAD agreement. 16 percent of forests are tied to titled lands. Very important potential financial source for the SDF. We’re interested in seeing how these two things can fit together.
Opt-in Readiness. We saw a good idea from CI Guyana and so we took it up.
Manuel Cunha, beneficiary.
Minister Garrido-Lowe, Minister within the Ministry of MoIPA
I’ve been very busy and I was only involved a few times in the SDF. Dr. Singh mentioned a word that is very very important to all of us and that word is “relationship”. We have only come this far with this SDF because of CI’s relationship with the Vice President. IF you don’t build relationships and have that people skill then you won’t be able to get your vision going.
We are real humble servants and we go everywhere.
It involves Indigenous Planning. It involves the community discussing and giving their input wit guidance from people. Region 9 has had the larger part, and I’m a bit jealous, of all the training they have had. I look forward to when all this goes to the other regions. This is a good start, this is a very good start.
Regional Chairman Region 9
I have to give Jack his jacket, in that all these things started ever since before I returned to the region. It was through the Minister that I returned to the Region. “I must thank god for CI too being in the region and the country. Our relationship got stronger. President said you have to develop a plan of action and so I wrote a letter to CI requesting some help and it was readily given to us. The thing about it is partnership and people development.”