Saturday, August 1, 2009

Letter from TAAMOG, an NGO consisting of two persons, the leader and his partner

LCDS consultations in the regions were well attended

Posted By Stabroek staff On August 1, 2009 @ 5:09 am In Letters | No Comments

Dear Editor,
With reference to Business Page under the caption ‘A review of the low carbon development strategy Part 2’ in your issue of July 26, Mr Ram stated that there were “captive audiences” at the recently held LCDS consultations and that “the average attendance… [was] generously, less than 20.”

I attended all the LCDS consultations held in Regions 1,2,6,7,8,9 and 10 in my capacity as a member of the Amerindian Action Movement of Guyana (TAAMOG) and member of the multi- stakeholder steering committee of the LCDS . The LCDS consultations team comprised two ministers of the government; climate change technical officers; Amerindian NGOS; Mr David James, attorney-at-law and member of the multi-stakeholder steering committee on the LCDS; and two members of the International Institute for Environment and Development (IIED) who were monitoring the consultations process. There were also officials from the Ministry of Amerindian Affairs (MOAA).

The LCDS consultations were massively attended and the venues were all packed to capacity and unable to accommodate all the participants who opted to stand inside and outside the venues to listen to the presentations by members of the consultation team. The consultations in all the regions were very interactive and were held in a very cordial atmosphere. Participants raised questions, concerns, suggestions and recommendations, which were all adequately answered and recorded. I must state that the presentations were given in extremely simple language.

The LCDS consultations held at Kamarang, Kato and Aishalton were brilliantly translated into the Akawaio, Patamona and Wapichan languages by Amerindian translators, to provide for effective understanding of the LCDS.

There was a positive response to the LCDS consultations in all the regions where they were held, and in view of the attendance Mr Ram’s description of “captive audiences” is misinformation.

At all the LCDS consultations there was no pressure or correction in accepting the LCDS; in fact there was general agreement in principle with the strategy. But while some concerns, suggestions and recommendations were raised, this was the objective of the LCDS consultations in the finalization of the strategy document.The mathematical formula used by Mr Ram to determine the attendance at the LCDS consultations seems outdated and has proved to be misleading. As a social commentator, Mr Ram should be responsible so that the people of Guyana and those in the outside world could be better informed.
Yours faithfully,
Peter Persaud

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