US$14.8M project to revalue public lands, update maps of Guyana

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The Guyana Lands and Surveys Commission has received a US$14.8M fund from the Guyana REDD+ Investment Fund which it will use to revalue public lands for the purpose of determining rent structures, for updating maps of Guyana, among other initiatives.

Commissioner Trevor Benn explained that the goal is to establish an enabling environment for promoting sustainable and climate-resilient land development.

This would include, among other things, updating the maps of Guyana in a comprehensive manner using new technologies such as satellite imagery, drone technology, and remote sensing which can detect changes in the land over a period of time.

Another interesting initiative is the valuation of public lands for the purposes of classification for various purposes such as the best lands for agriculture and mining. This will also help to determine the best rent structure to be charged per plot.

There are other initiatives which the Commission hopes to utilize the funds for including the review of related legislation and improving internal capacity.

Benn explained how the Commission intends to roll out all of these projects over the next four years.

“A number of the things we want to do will have to run concurrently and we have begun to look at the recruitment of staff. We want to be able to have the best people on board to help us deliver on the output and outcomes of this project,” he said.

Benn explained however that the Commission may not be able to do maps and valuation exercises countrywide.

“We don’t foresee that we will be able to do the entire country because the aerial mapping alone is quite costly and some of the estimates that we’ve gotten to do a couple of regions is in the vicinity of US$4M/US$6M alone just to do the mapping…So our intention is to restrict it to specific regions,” Benn stated.

He explained that before the project as developed, the GL&SC had consultations with a number of stakeholders to determine which regions to be selected – with the majority agreeing that Region Four must be given priority.

The other regions which will be targeted are Bartica in Region Seven because of the rampant mining there and Region Ten.

The official signing ceremony for this project will occur next month.

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