Guyana MRV blog - CREW present community resource maps
The GCP is working with partners in Guyana to build capacity for community monitoring to be linked to national monitoring, reporting and verification (MRV).
The project is training two monitors (called CREW – Community Resource Environmental Workers) from each of 16 communities across North Rupununi. The workshop was an opportunity for the CREW to present the community resource maps that they had sketched with guidance from elders and other members of their communities. These maps will form a key building block for future monitoring by the CREW as well as helping the communities plan the use of their resources.
The CREW are being trained to use freeware smartphone software for collecting data in their communities. We took out 32 rugged Samsung Galaxy Xcover smartphones – one for each of the CREW – and provided basic training in taking photos, filling in forms and marking out areas of land.
All of these skills will be vital for their monitoring work in the future. Their first task back in their villages will be to use their new skills to gather information on processes such as rotational farming – which is a vital part of the local way of life – to help build a picture of how their forests are changing.
In a previous training workshop, the CREW had expressed a desire to learn more about good governance, including the concept of Free, Prior and Informed Consent (FPIC). So we were honoured that a Guyanese indigenous rights lawyer, David James, could join us and share the knowledge and expertise he has gained during years of work on national and international indigenous rights.
He also briefed the new set of Toshaos (village leaders) so that they are better prepared when approached by commercial operators such as oil companies seeking to work in community lands.
We were also joined by Ms Hansrajie Sukdeo, an MRV data manager working for the Guyana Forestry Commission (GFC) and the national REDD+ Secretariat, who described the government’s approach to MRV and helped us to develop ideas on how community monitoring can provide a complementary approach.