The Ministry of Natural Resources on Monday launched its three-week Youth in Natural Resources Mentorship Programme which aims to introduce young people to the natural resources sector through the work of the Ministry and its agencies and corporate partners.
“In doing so the youth are expected to come to an understanding that working in the natural resources sector can be fulfilling and rewarding, and when done correctly, can sustain the environment and rich biodiversity.” the ministry said in a statement.
Immediately following the launch in the Minister’s boardroom, the participants, aged 15 to 18, embarked on a familiarization tour of the Ministry, the Guyana Geology and Mines Commission, the Guyana Gold Board and the Guyana Forestry Commission.
Speaking to the participants, Minister Trotman said that they must grow to fall in love with their country by exploring it and the rich diversity, and to always remember that in the thrust to conserve and protect, the people in the hinterland communities also must always be considered foremost.
The Minister remarked that despite the perception that natural resources extraction is negative because of its potential for environmental degradation, the Ministry is working to bring a healthy balance between the extractive industries and the environment. He said that the programme is to demonstrate that there is virtue in the extractive industries. He noted that mining, along with other extractive activities, is a wholesome endeavour which brings foreign exchange to the country, provides jobs and incomes to thousands and allows young people to become chemists and engineers, among other fulfilling professions.
“I hope that when you go out to these different places…like me you will fall in love with the country. Wherever we go try to see the beauty of your country,” Minister Trotman urged. He told the participants that the programme, which will come to an end on August 28, 2017, will involve some community work such as tree-planting.
Referring to the young people as pioneers for being the first batch, the Minister expressed the hope that some of them could be around next year to assist with the second batch of youth participants.
Minister Trotman ended by thanking all of the corporate sponsors including MACORP, Farfan and Mendes, John Fernandes Ltd., Muneshwers Ltd., Guyana Goldfields, Bosai Minerals Group, ExxonMobil, the Iwokrama International Centre for Rainforest Conservation and Development and others for responding positively to the Ministry and making the mentorship programme possible.