Global Justice Clinic Partner Publishes Environmental Monitoring Report, Prompting Presidential Action in Guyana

Indigenous Council Calls For Government Recognition and Collaboration To Combat Threats Posed by Mining in Wapichan Territory

A groundbreaking environmental monitoring report was released publicly today by the South Rupununi District Council (SRDC) that documents the serious environmental and cultural threat posed by mining activities on the indigenous group’s ancestral lands. This report by GJC partner SRDC, a legal representative institution of the Wapichan people in Guyana, is the product of the SRDC’s cutting-edge territorial mapping and monitoring program that draws on advanced digital mapping and smart phone technology to expose the mining industry’s disregard of Guyanese law and the rights of indigenous people. To date, the SRDC has documented hundreds of instances of illegal and/or destructive mining activity on their ancestral lands that has resulted in significant deforestation and the contamination of the region’s river systems.

Given the serious and imminent nature of the threat posed by mining, the SRDC presented its report to President David Granger of Guyana in September, calling on the government to formally recognize and collaborate with the SRDC’s monitoring program. While President Granger publically acknowledged the exemplary work of the SRDC and ordered a multi-agency task force to address the issues raised in the report, his administration has thus far failed to follow up on the President’s words with action.

For more information, see the SRDC press release. The full report may also be accessed here.

The Global Justice Clinic has been working with the SRDC and its international partners, Digital Democracy, Forest Peoples Programme, and Rainforest Foundation US, since 2016. Through the Clinic, students have provided data analysis and legal support for monitoring activity


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