It is hard to deny the fact that to date over 45 per cent of Guyana’s state forest remains intact contrary to the misinformation stated in Parliament by Minister Trotman that the PPP/C shared out 100 per cent of the productive state forest. Kaieteur News has joined the bandwagon and is seeking to peddle more misinformation obviously submitted to them by the Ministry of Natural Resources.
The indisputable facts remain as follows:
1. At least 45 per cent or five million hectares of productive state forest remains intact and unallocated. I challenge the Ministry and Kaieteur News to seek an independent and international specialist to dispute this figure of unallocated productive forest in Guyana and to make the results public and not 1800 maps published by the Kaieteur News in their Sunday Edition not even colour copies were available.
2. Out of the large concessions that have been allocated to date over 605 was shared out by the PNC Administration prior to 1992. An example of such concession are the Barama, Toolsie
Persaud, Mazaharally, Case Timber (PNC MP), Willem Timbers, Nagasar Sawh, Demerara Woods and Caribbean Resources among others totalling in excess of three million hectares of prime very accessible state forest. These Concessions were shared out without any public advertisements or transparent process.
Can Minister Trotman and his Kaieteur News dispute this? If they can, let them publish the full names and area size of all the large concessions issued prior to the PPP/C’s entry to office in 1992 versus the concessions allocated under the PPP/C.
I challenge the Minister to publish the facts and don’t wait around and make vague assertions about Jagdeo issued concessions to his friends.
How did Hamley Case and his group get three concessions (UNAMCO and Case Timbers)? Was he a PPP friend? No, he was a PNC MP.
3. Under whose government was Barama’s largest concession of 1.5 million hectares issued? Certainly not the PPP/C.
But let the facts speak if Minister Trotman, the Ministry of Natural Resources and Kaieteur News are up to the challenge. Let them bring in an independent expert to do an assessment of the forest and determine how much forest Guyana has, how much is remaining to date, whether it is productive or not, how much was shared out under the PNC and how much forest remains intact and properly managed under the PPP/C.
I challenge the Minister to say nothing more. Let him bring an international expert to make it public. Let him not be like little boo peep.