Grievance Redress Mechanism for Amerindian Land Titling Operationalized

Sep 7, 2017

Participants at the ALT Grievance Redress Mechanism Training (Photo: Yolanda Ward)

Amerindian communities with issues related to their lands, resources and territories will now be able to access the services of the Amerindian Land Titling (ALT) Project Grievance Redress Mechanism (GRM) to have their respective issues addressed.

In 2015 and 2016, stakeholders from the ALT project liaison institutions which include the Ministry of Indigenous People’s Affairs (MoIPA), the Guyana Lands and Surveys Commission (GLSC), the Guyana Forestry Commission (GFC), the Guyana Geology and Mines Commission (GGMC), the Protected Areas Commission (PAC), the Indigenous Peoples Commission (IPC), the National Toshaos Council (NTC) and several Amerindian non-Governmental organizations participated in meetings of the ALT Representative Platform and together worked on preparing an ALT guideline which details the process of land titling and how to adequately address grievances related to Indigenous peoples’ lands.

It is therefore against this backdrop, the GRM staff and representatives from the liaison institutions participated in a three-day training from 5-7 September, 2017 in Georgetown. The training was aimed at better positioning the team to deal with the issues they are expected to address in an effective, efficient and professional manner as the GRM becomes operationalized. Ms. Vanessa Jimenez, a US-based international lawyer, facilitated the training.

The ALT-GRM will receive and address any concerns, complaints, notices of emerging conflicts or grievances alleging actual or potential harm to affected persons arising from the titling of indigenous peoples’ lands, resources and territories. The GRM is also expected assist in the resolution of grievances between and among stakeholders to the Amerindian Land Titling process and conduct itself always in a flexible, collaborative and transparent manner aimed at problem solving and consensus building.

A grievance can be submitted to the ALT GRM by an individual or group who believe they have been or will be harmed by the titling process of indigenous peoples’ lands, resources and territories in Guyana and/or alleges an emerging or actual conflict between and among stakeholders to the Amerindian land titling process.

The ALT GRM is staffed with a Director and Secretary and a grievance can be transmitted by radio or a letter addressed to the ALT GRM, Ministry of Indigenous People’s Affairs - 251-252 Thomas and Quamina Streets, South Cummingsburg, Georgetown. A grievance can also be submitted via a call or text to 600-3180 / 225-5675 or email altprojectgy@gmail.com.

Participants reaffirmed their commitment to the process and pledged full support to ensuring that the ALT GRM is used to address grievances.

A copy of the ALT guideline can be downloaded from the UNDP’s website.

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