June 4, 2017: In an unconventional celebration of World Environment Day, Senator the Honourable Clarence Rambharat, Minister of Agriculture, Land and Fisheries and senior officials of the Ministry spent the day on Sunday 4th June, 2017 touring the Godineau River and meeting with fisherfolk of Otaheite and farmers of Fyzabad and environs. Senator Rambharat and his team were hosted by Dr. Lackram Bodoe, Member of Parliament for Fyzabad.
The Agriculture Minister’s message on World Environment Day is ‘continue to respect nature and the environment! Plant, eat what you know and eat what you grow’.
The Godineau River is of great environmental significance; as are some of the other more popular environmentally sensitive areas, including Caroni Bird Santuary, Nariva Swamp and Mathura. Sailing down the River, the Minister and his team enjoyed the close up views of a variety of habitats, including the saltwater mangrove swamp and fresh water marshland. They also enjoyed the naturally serene setting and the abundant birdlife.
While on tour, Minister Rambharat met with various community members and residents to hear first-hand of their issues and plans of eco-tourism for their community.
At the meeting with the farmers, Senator Rambharat stated that he knows that ‘the number one issue is land tenure; the number two issue is access roads; and third is the support from the Ministry’ and spoke at length about the work of the Ministry and other Agencies to address their legitimate concerns. Further, he said that he was ‘here to listen and take notes’. While at the meeting with the fisherfolk, he called on the Fishing Association to instill discipline among its members with a view to proper management of their facilities.
The touring team included Senator Avinash Singh, Parliamentary Secretary, Ministry of Agriculture, Land and Fisheries; Mr. Claudelle Mc Kellar, Permanent Secretary (Ag.), Ministry of Agriculture, Land and Fisheries; Mr. Rayber Bowen, Director, National Agricultural Marketing and Development Corporation (NAMDEVCO); Ms. Elizabeth Mohammed, Director, PSAEL; Councillor Chandra Ramadarsingh; Ms. AnnMarie Dardaine, Director, Engineering, Ministry of Agriculture, Land and Fisheries; Mr. Raffique Ali, Director, Regional Administration South, Ministry of Agriculture, Land and Fisheries; among others.