Wednesday, April 7, 2010
Bulkan and the APA are looking for chinks in the armour of the LCDS
Baldeo Mathura: I am astonished at the almost perverse delight which Ms. Janette Bulkan and her associates seem to have in trying to bring down the Low Carbon Development Strategy (LCDS).
In her latest attack (SN, April 5, 2010), Bulkan confirms she is linked with the Amerindian Peoples Association (APA) which is also against the LCDS. I could not help noticing how often she refers to the APA’s position to back her arguments against the strategy.
It seems to me that these people are anti-national, unpatriotic and are against national development for narrow, personal agendas because they keep criticising the national consultations on the LCDS when others, including international organisations, have praised the process for meeting international standards.
I have not read or heard about any other country going through such a process and I recall Ms. Joycelyn Dow, a monitor for the process for the International Institute for Environment and Development, stating that the process was in line with international principles.
The World Bank and others have also commended Guyana on the LCDS process, so why are Bulkan and her group persisting in spreading distortions?
Do they want to bring down the LCDS like they did in scuttling a protected areas project that would have benefitted Amerindian communities?
I have also read the minutes of the LCDS consultations on the LCDS website and I have not seen any mention of Bulkan being present at any consultation session to offer her views and put up constructive proposals.
If she is so concerned about the development of the indigenous people, why wasn’t she present at the consultations to speak on their behalf? But she prefers to sit back and make a hobby of deriding the LCDS while pretending to be representing the interests of indigenous communities.
She is also very condescending to Amerindians and it is demeaning for her to say that the consultations were too hurried and not “relative to Amerindian traditions”.
Are Amerindians slower to comprehend than other Guyanese? It is an insult to Amerindians to claim that they need more time than other Guyanese to digest and absorb and make informed choices.
It is this kind of subservient mentality that Amerindians have to beware of from those pretending to be their champions.
I remember that Amerindians participated more than others during the consultations and they put forward well-meaning observations and suggestions on the LCDS.
It is clear that Bulkan and the APA are looking for chinks in the armour of the LCDS and are bent on nitpicking.
They have been picking on the LCDS since its launch, claiming at first that it will get nowhere.
The LCDS, however, has won broad-based support among Guyanese; it has been acclaimed by leaders in other countries and it has won support from the Government of Norway.
The good thing is that every time these naysayers predict doom, the LCDS advances. The LCDS deserves the support of all Guyanese because it has put Guyana in a positive light internationally.
What have Bulkan and the APA done for the benefit of the indigenous peoples? Has Bulkan ever taken time and effort to draw up a project proposal for the development of Amerindian communities? Has the APA done that?
They instead seem determined to stifle opportunities for the Amerindians and for the country as a whole and the indigenous peoples and others have to be wary of people like these.