Friday, July 30, 2010

Motion on indigenous peoples commission carried

Opposition objects to forestry’s James Singh

GUYANA - A motion which paves the way for the appointment of persons to sit on the long-awaited Indigenous Peoples’ Commission (IPC) was yesterday passed in the National Assembly though opposition members of parliament objected to an appointee nominated by the government.

Chair of the Standing Committee on Appointments, PPP/C MP Gail Teixeira, moved the motion which sought the adoption of the eighth report of the standing committee to address matters relating to the nomination and appointment of members of the IPC.

However, the opposition objected to Commissioner of the Guyana Forestry Com-mission (GFC), James Singh, as a nominee shortlisted to sit as a member of the IPC, with the PNCR terming his nomination “a breach of faith”.

Dr George Norton, speaking on behalf of his party, stated that the past 20 months of meetings held between committee members were undertaken to appoint persons to the IPC. He said that among the entities nominated by the Standing Committee, and which were identified as appropriate bodies for consultation on the appointment of persons as members of the commission, was the Ministry of Human Services and Social Security (MHSSS). That ministry then submitted Singh as its nominee to sit on the IPC.

Norton said that the party does not “have anything against Singh as a person”, but according to him the GFC Commissioner does not operate within the ambit of the MHSSS goals. He made reference to concerns by persons from interior locations who have had problems regarding the uplifting of their pensions and according to him, the party was told that having someone from the MHSSS would allay such fears expressed by residents from those locations.

AFC MP Sheila Holder while addressing the issue, stated that she viewed the matter, “with bad taste by the kind of politics played by the government”. She said that the IPC has been in the making for some 9 years and according to her, the party viewed Singh’s appointment to the IPC as breach of trust. “It puts him on the IPC through the back door”, she said of the government.

Holder said that during deliberations, it was agreed that the MHSSS was eligible as an agency to have a sitting member on the IPC, and she noted that it was “simply bizarre to argue that Singh years of expertise” was equivalent to those persons employed by the ministry.

She said the decision casts doubts on the experience and ability of persons employed by the agency, adding that, “it has to be noted that it is being used for the second time”, as she made reference to government spokesman Kwame McKoy being appointed as a member of the Rights of the Child Commission (ROC).

Teixeira said that the appointments are based upon provisions set out by the Constitution and she noted that the Constitutional Reform Commission made compromises on several issues. Amid heckling, Teixeira said that commissioners are expected to be fair independent and transparent.

She said that when the entities were written to by the Standing Committee, they were asked to nominate an individual and at no point, as a representative of the agency, and as such she said that the matter of breach of faith does not hold. As chairperson, Teixeira said that she could not use her position to determine who the agencies put forward as their nominee and called on the National Assembly to adopt the report.

The IPC is one of four rights commissions established in accordance with the Constitution of Guyana, with its primary functions being to promote and protect the rights of indigenous people, raise awareness of their contributions, and the problems they face as well as to make recommendations on economic and education policies to advance the interest of the indigenous people, among others.

The other persons nominated to sit on the IPC are, PPP/C MP Norman Whittaker, David James, Matilda Saigo, Patricia Singh, George Simon, Captain Gerald Gouveia, Damian Fernandes, Father Malcolm Rodrigues and Toshaos Yvonne Pearson, Marco J De Souza and Doreen Jacobis.

Source: Stabroek News

Tuesday, July 20, 2010

Peace and Dignity Run Begins in Borikén

Borikén/Puerto Rico (UCTP Taino News) – The Borikén 2010 Peace and Dignity Run began on the 17th of July with the sounding of many guamo (conch shell horns) at sunrise in the Yunke Rainforest. A spiritual event, the run is being undertaken to raise awareness about the condition of indigenous scared sites on the island as well as connect native Taino islanders with their mainland relations. At the special opening ceremony, runners received the blessing of elders and other community members as they began an historic journey that would take them to sacred sites all around the island.

See full story at UCTP Taino News:

Tuesday, July 13, 2010

Guyana indigenous demand say over land

(Reuters) - Guyana's indigenous people are agitating for more land rights as the World Bank prepares to spend hundreds of millions to help nations benefit from a U.N. program to help slow deforestation.

The World Bank has granted Guyana $200,000 to help refine its proposal to reduce emissions from deforestation. But Amerindian leaders insist the government's proposals do not address its international obligations to indigenous people.

"We have urged governments and international agencies to protect our traditional practices and help resolve outstanding land issues," Tony James, president of the Guyana's Amerindian Peoples Association (APA) said at a World Bank meeting.

Guyana, a former British colony perched next to Venezuela, is about 80 percent covered with forests and has one of the most varied biodiversities in the world. Amerindian communities make up about 10 percent of the population.

Indigenous leaders accuse the government of snatching their traditional lands through poor demarcation, saying in some areas, communities were demarcated without their knowledge.

The Amerindian Act of 2006 gives Amerindian villages legal powers to manage and conserve their lands.

"Some community lands are being sliced by half, some by quarter, some by three-quarters," said John Adries, the leader in the Parima community, inhabited by 600 Arekuna people.

Guyana's government is seeking international partnerships for incentives to keep alive 15 million hectares of untouched forest. Amerindian communities have been told they can opt into the initiative or choose not to be part of it.

Amerindian communities have in the past been sharoly critical Guyana's low carbon strateggy, a forest saving deal with Norway that could give the country US$250 million over the next five years.

Thursday, July 8, 2010

Small Grants Programme under the Second Decade

Applications for grants under the Small Grants Programme under the Second Decade will be accepted between 1 July 2010 and 1 October 2010

Applications for grants under the Small Grants Programme under the Second Decade will be accepted between 1 July 2010 and 1 October 2010. Applications are to be submitted to: during this time period. Applications submitted outside of this time period or to other email addresses will not be considered for funding. The proposals will be assessed by the Bureau of the UN Permanent Forum on Indigenous Issues in May 2011 and successful applicants will receive notice thereafter. A list of organizations awarded grants will also be posted on this website.

Please note:
- Project must have a focus on indigenous peoples
- All applicants must submit their project proposals in accordance with the Trust Fund
Project Proposal Format and include both a summary sheet and a proposal document
- Projects will be disregarded if the required information is not present.
- Additional information pertaining to the proposal will not be accepted beyond the deadline of submission (1 October 2011)

Please visit our webpage to obtain updated grant information and application


Las solicitudes para subvenciones del Programa de Pequeñas Donaciones dentro del marco del Segundo Decenio Fondo Fiduciario para el Segundo Decenio serán aceptadas entre el 1 de julio y el 1 de octubre del 2010.

Las solicitudes deben ser enviadas a: durante este plazo. Las solicitudes recibidas fuera de este plazo o enviadas a otras direcciones de email no serán consideradas. Las solicitudes serán evaluadas en mayo del 2011 y los candidatos exitosos serán notificados después de esta fecha. La lista de las organizaciones que reciban subsidios estará disponible en esta página web.

Por favor tomar en consideración:
- El proyecto debe tener un enfoque sobre pueblos indígenas
- Todos los candidatos deben someter sus propuestas de proyecto de acuerdo con
el formato de Propuesta del Proyecto y adjuntar la hoja resumen y el documento
de propuesta.
- Los proyectos que no tengan la información requerida no serán considerados.
- Información adicional relacionada con la propuesta no será aceptada una vez
vencido el plazo de presentación (1 de octubre de 2010).

Visite por favor esta página web para obtener información y materiales actualizados sobre las solicitudes: