Gov’t not pursuing charges against persons arrested at Kaieteur National Park
GEORGETOWN, Guyana – Following meetings between Minister of Natural Resources, Raphael Trotman and officials from his Ministry and the Guyana Geology and Mines Commission (GGMC), it has been decided that as an act of good faith Government will not prosecute the charges against the more than 20 persons arrested on Sunday May 28, 2017 for mining within the Kaieteur National Park.
The Park has been designated a Protected Area and will remain off limits to mining, forest-harvesting and other related activities. Further, it has been determined that the pre-1999 boundaries for the Kaieteur National Park will not be restored as some have advocated.
The Toshao, Mr.EdwardMcGarrell, and some members of the community of Chenapau in Region 8, Potaro-Siparuni,together with representatives of the National Toshaos’ Council (NTC) and the Amerindian Peoples Association (APA), met on June 1, 2017 at the invitation of the Minister of Natural Resources to voice their concerns. At this meeting, Minister Trotman committed to raising the concerns of the residents with His Excellency President David Granger, President of Guyana, which was subsequently done.
While the Ministry of Natural Resources remains firm in its mandate to protect the national patrimony for future generations, it is not insensitive to the needs of communities, and therefore, the Ministry along with other Government entities, is prepared to work with the Chenapau and other communities to identify opportunities for benefit-sharing and sustainable livelihoods in the ongoingconservation efforts for the Kaieteur National Park and other protected areas.