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Opposition leader calls for re-opening of wildlife trade

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The Leader of the Opposition, Bharrat Jagdeo, is calling on the Government to immediately re-open the wildlife trade, simultaneously ensuring that this is done in a renewable and sustainable manner.

The Wildlife Conservation and Management Act 2016 was assented to, by President David Granger on October 5, 2016. This Act envisages the incorporation of the Guyana Wildlife Conservation and Management Commission and demands the establishment of the Wildlife Scientific Committee.

This Act was intended to satisfy international conventions pertaining to the import and export of wildlife and provide a regulatory framework to bring Guyana into compliance with international standards and best practices; not to bring the trade to a precipitous halt, the Opposition Leader said.

As of today, (Friday, April 7, 2017), almost six months after the passage of this Legislation, there has been no notice or announcement of the re-opening of this commercial activity.

This “inaction”, Jagdeo said, “has negatively affected the livelihood of exporters, trappers, many Amerindians in Guyana’s hinterland regions and others engaged in this business.”

As such, he is urging the government to act expeditiously to facilitate the resumption of the wildlife trade, while concurrently synchronising the creation of an environment of a smooth and efficient wildlife conservation and management framework, with the capacity for adequate enforcement.

The Wildlife Conservation and Management Bill 2016 was passed in the National Assembly in August 2016.

The key objectives of the Wildlife Bill were: to create a supportive mechanism cognisant of the national goals of wildlife protection, conservation management and sustainable use, to create a national framework and mechanisms governing the local and international trade in all species of Guyana’s wildlife, to implement the primary provisions of the convention and also to provide a framework of licencing and decisions which support core principles of transparency, certainty, natural justice and fairness. The bill also makes provisions for captive breeding and wildlife ranching.

Presenting the Bill for a second time in the House followed by its examination in Select Committee, Minister of Natural Resources, Raphael Trotman led the House through several amendments before its adoption and passage.

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