HURURU, an Amerindian community in Region Ten, has signed a lease agreement with Bai Shan Lin Forest Development Inc. for 24.7 acres of land that will see the company constructing a wharf, log pond and buildings.Village Toshao, Mr Winsbert Benjamin on Wednesday signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) with General Manager of Bai Shan Lin, Mr Han Zhen Jun, for a 15-year lease that will see the village receiving $5,000 per acre over time.
The MoU was signed in the presence of Amerindian Affairs Minister, Ms Pauline Sukhai and representatives of Bai Shan Lin, along with members of the Village Council of Hururu and the Ministry of Natural Resources and the Environment at the Ministry of Amerindian Affairs.
The MoU will also cater for the construction of two-storied buildings, and a parking area to accommodate equipment.
Minister Sukhai stated that the signing of the agreement followed the process which mirrored free prior and informed consent of the indigenous people, who had discussions regarding the proposals sent to them. The Village Council did all that was required by the Amerindian Act, and had discussions among all stakeholders while guidance came from the ministry along with legal advice.
Toshao Benjamin noted that the two bodies had worked hard during the past year, and that the three-year relationship with Bai Shan Lin has led to the agreement. He thanked the company for its support over the past years.
The company’s General Manager, Mr Zhen Jun, expressed appreciation for the cooperation among the stakeholder entities and the village, and pledged to stick to the terms of the MoU, so as to move forward.
The company has pledged to construct 2.5miles of roadway for the village, costing $12M, and will also sign on to being good a corporate citizen, that will support the village. It will also establish a sport facility, based on the needs of the youth of the area.
There will be no log harvesting on the 24.7 acres of land, and monitoring will be done by the Village Council, with the ministry having oversight to ensure that the lease agreement is held in honour.
The ministry plays an integral role in addressing any matter which may come up during the lease agreement. (GINA)