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Barranco villagers reach agreement with Minister Figueroa

Last month, Barranco villagers met with the Chief Forestry Officer Wilbur Sabido over logging license concession for five of the villagers that were denied.  Villagers expressed dissatisfaction that concessions were granted to persons who did not reside in the village.  Following that meeting with Sabido, the National Garifuna Council sent a letter to Prime Minister Dean Barrow and Minister of State in the Ministry of Forestry and Fisheries, Omar Figueroa, expressing their displeasure.  Minister Figueroa agreed to a meeting which took place on May 22. As a result, the following were agreed to: villagers, Leslie Colon and Alfredo Rash were given a concession for a small area while their case is being looked at; the Ministry has withdrawn the license granted to Ruperto Blanco, the Minister will help the community in setting up a co-management plan for the community to be able to control Barranco’s marine and forest area, to promote sustainable fishing, logging, and reforestation and to create a Development Plan that will improve economic activity, entrepreneurship, tourism and a gradual migration of Barranco villagers back home.