Georgetown, Guyana – (July 26, 2017) Minister of State, Mr. Joseph Harmon, today, received a courtesy call from representatives of Ordnance Survey International (OSI) and Trimble Incorporated, two companies from the United Kingdom, which specialise in land management and mapping. The representatives are here in Guyana to collaborate with the Guyana Lands and Surveys Commission (GLSC) on improved efficiency in land management, through the transfer of technology.

The meeting, which was held at the Ministry of the Presidency, was attended by Mr. Trevor Benn, Commissioner of the GLSC, Mr. Malcolm Havercroft, Director of Operations of OSI, Mr. Peter Hedlund, Managing Director, also of OSI and Ms. Jill Urban-Karr, Executive Director of Trimble.

Minister Harmon said that the Government welcomes the collaboration and looks forward to a long term relationship. He noted that there is much that needs to be done in Guyana in the area of Land Management.

“The quality of mapping in this country leaves much to be desired. Land is a scarce and limited resource. We have all of these pressures on land, where several communities are looking to establish protected areas; challenges as far as mining and extractive industries are concerned, agriculture and of course human settlement. So all of these are factors push and pull on how best to utilise the stock of land that you have,” he said.

Mr. Benn, in an invited comment after the meeting, said that the partnership was born out of a recent overseas Conference he attended. He noted that it is his expectation that the collaboration will not only improve the efficiency of the Commission but will also help to generate revenue, which can improve the organisation’s services.

“The intention is to be able to get as much support of the work we are doing. We are experiencing a lot of backlogs in our system particularly the lease management system and our equipment and tools we use and this opportunity is for us to benefit from the expertise they can bring to Guyana. It is my hope that we can sign onto a long-term partnership with the OSI to enable us to rise to the twenty first century organisation that the country requires and so this is the first step we are taking here,” he said.

Mr. Hedlund, also in an invited comment, said that the OSI is willing and ready to offer its expertise to the Commission. He said that companies are even more heartened by the willingness and eagerness of the persons involved, particularly at the Government level.

“We have been very impressed with the messages from the Minister. There is good grounds and will from the people and we definitely see opportunities where we can collaborate. It is a programme for four years and we are looking to see how best we can transfer knowledge. We stand ready to assist and the benefits would be a more effective lands and surveys department but real benefits comes from a nation that has modern, up to date information,” he said.

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