26 gov’t employees get GRIF funded scholarships to push improved land management in Guyana


With $20.6 million in funding from the Guyana Red Investment Fund (GRIF), the Food and Agriculture Organisation (FAO) has teamed up with the Guyana Lands and Surveys Commission (GLSC) to see 26 individuals from several land management agencies in Guyana being afforded an opportunity to study at the University of Guyana (UG) under its Land Administration and Management Diploma Programme.

In a rapidly changing world pressured by climate change and increasing populations, sustainable land management is vital for development. It can help to improve livelihoods, achieve food security and protect ecosystems while ensuring that land, as an important resource, is also sustained for the benefit of future generations.

And countries like Guyana, agriculture, mining and forestry, are recognized for their commitment and strategic actions to integrate sustainable land management.

This is why the FAO collaborated with the GLSC and UG to see the project into fruition.

At the signing of the Letter of Agreement (LOA) on Wednesday at UG headquarters, FAO Country Representative, Dr. Gillian Smith explained that the initiative falls under the Sustainable Land Development and Management Project created by the FAO and GLSC.

She said it is merely one aspect of building capacity in that regard and urged the students to take full advantage of the opportunity

“The overall projects seeks to help with the government and the country’s agenda to improve and modernize its land administration and management process so to you, the students, I really hope that you make the best of this.

“Your country and the organisation you represent needs to do very well in this course and to become a part of Guyana’s vision for the transformation of land management to support low carbon sustainable development,” Dr.Smith said.

The move was a critical step taken by GLSC, according to its Chief Executive Officer (CEO), Enrique Monize who was keen to note that land is by far, one of the most valuable assets to our existence.

Administering and managing public lands is the critical function of the GLSC which serves as the custodian of public lands, rivers, and creeks.

And according to Monize, sustainable land management is imperative now considering the emerging and increasing investments in Guyana. With that, comes a need to improve on existing systems, he said.

“land agencies require updated, modern and innovative approaches to address complex land issues, understanding legal instruments…in conformity with environmental regulations and assessments along with optimal land uses and land management practices,” he stated.

It is for this reason that the students have been drawn from key agencies that deal directly with land management; from GLSC, the Guyana Forestry Commission (GFC), the Guyana Geology and Mines Commission (GGMC), the Central Housing and Planning Authority (CH&PA) and the Mahaica Mahaicony Abary – Agricultural Development Authority (MMA/ADA).

It was noted that the fees for six of the students have been waived completely by UG.

This, according to Vice-Chancellor Dr. Paloma Mohamed is a show of support for the initiative. The programme will begin in at the end of March and will last for 18-months.

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