“We were the best stewards of the forest” – Jagdeo says natural resources sector in “shambles”

Last Updated on Friday, 12 February 2016, 15:49 by Writer

Opposition Leader Bharrat Jagdeo has fired back at Natural Resources Minister Raphael Trotman over allegations that “productive forests” were “shared out” under the former PPP administration.

This is after Trotman told the House on Thursday that on his ascension to office, an alarming discovery was made relative to forestry in Guyana.

“We discovered that 100% or all of our productive forest was allocated by the past Government. This is what a former head of state would have referred to as confounded nonsense,” Trotman told the House.

He questioned “how could a responsible government preside over the allocation of all – not some, but all of its productive forest?” What about future generations?”

But Jagdeo in parliament on Friday stated that just over 55% of state forests was given to investors.

“The fact is about 55% of the state forests has been given out so far in our history…It is not true that all of our state forests have been given away,” said the Opposition Leader.

He did not make the differentiation between state forests and productive forests but went on to say that the PPP in Government were the best managers of Guyana’s forestry.

“We were the best stewards of the forests we kept the forests intact…we negotiated the best forest deal in the world,” the former President declared.

He also accused the government of mismanaging the sector again pointing to the lack of a climate change policy.

“Our natural resources sector is in shambles – we have no climate change policy…the greening of Bartica is not a climate change policy,” said Jagdeo.

He said that a climate change policy it is about low carbon development strategy – “it is how we create new industries to export.”