Guyana: Western Guyana Power Plant at the heart of the debate

A column in support of Prospérité Village in Guyana appeared in the columns of Le Monde in late December, a few weeks after his trip to Paris to rally support for their approach. Initiated by Guyana Native Youth, the Danielle Mitterand Foundation, the American Indian Solidarity Committee, the National Tree Monitoring Group, the National Biodiversity Association and the Earth Observatory, among others, it was signed by 150 individuals. culture and politics. There are mainly deputies from rebellious France.

The energy transition will not happen by denying our rights as indigenous peoples, nor by robbing the Amazon rainforest. presents the platform to the President of the Republic. ” The people of Kali’na of Prospérité village (…) now see the industrial project being built in their residential area. “, he adds. First of all, the residents of the village of Prospérité condemn a project that violates the law through this forum ” it is our right to dispose of our lands “: ” While we have been waiting 30 years for the government to hand over this land to us under ‘collective use right zones’, HDF Energy got permission in less than a year to build a power plant there without real consultation with the residents. “.

They also condemn untranslated documents “, they” strongly and repeatedly pressured the village chief to accept the project in exchange for financial compensation ” as many exceptions the right to free, prior and informed consent is protected by the constitutional right to public information and participation “. ” The state and the industrialist have turned deaf and now brutally obstinate in the face of long-standing demands for relocation of the CEOG industrial project, as evidenced by the violent arrest of the village chief and several residents after a day of pacifist action. mobilization to protest the continuation of the construction site we add.

From an ecological point of view, the plant footprint is within a Natural Area of ​​Ecological, Faunal and Floristic Interest (ZNIEFF) within the Guyana Regional Nature Park “Reminiscent of the tribune that highlights it” The detailed diagnosis of the existing biodiversity on the site carried out by the biotope design office for the company has serious drawbacks, according to the naturalists, who carried it out in a very short time and in unfavorable weather conditions. “. ” Despite this incomplete survey, there are 33 protected species clearly identified and directly threatened by the implementation of the power plant project. “, we add.

According to the forum, ” In just a few days, the waterways in the region are all polluted and the water opossum, a protected and very rare mammal, is on the verge of extinction. “and” the company does not have the necessary exemptions to continue its project legally “. The Prospérité rural association and the National Association for Biodiversity filed a complaint on November 25 with the public prosecutor of Cayenne.

Among other claims, the forum denounces ” political and economic interests of those who finance this “environmental” project Speaking directly to Emmanuel Macron, he writes: HDF Energy, the carrier of the project, is a startup funded with an energy transition plan focused on hydrogen. He relies on the Meridiam investment fund, which finances 60% of this plant. The founder of this foundation, Thierry Déau, was particularly involved in the financing of your presidential campaign.. ” The nature of this assembly may legitimately prompt us to ask: who is conducting this transition? In what order and for what purpose? » I am surprised at the signatories who called ” Ending the abuse of the Kalina people and reaffirming France’s commitment to respecting the rights of First Nations “. The forum concludes with a demand for the immediate suspension of the work and the resumption of discussions on its relocation.

Earlier this week, a collective of elected officials from that area took up a pen in hand to defend this project. Gabriele Servill, President of the Territorial Collective of French Guiana, Sophie Charles, Mayor of Saint-Laurent du Maroni and President of the Community of Municipalities of Western Guiana, or Jean-Paul Ferreira, Mayor of Avala-Yalimapo and 1st Vice-President of the Territorial Collective of Guyana, we want to emphasize the character ” is important of the project, in particular to meet the energy needs of the more than 50,000 residents of our territory, particularly Western French Guiana “.

After years of consultation, the agreement was approved by all interested parties without any objections to its location or its urgent and important nature. But a few months ago, representatives of Village Prospérité, a neighbor of the project, unilaterally decided to reconsider this commitment. “Cry for the five elected people who signed this platform.

Officials who were first selected for the project’s location insist that it is ” determined in close consultation with the authorities and all local stakeholders ” and that ” the only one that meets all the technical and environmental criteria of urban planning regulations “allow” Connection to the grid that supplies electricity to the population of Western French Guiana “. ” The project is located on land leased from the Department of National Forestry (ONF) and is designed to preserve secondary forest and limit its footprint to allow free movement of animals and hunters., they still remember. ” As for the photovoltaic panels, they are located on hilltops to preserve biodiversity in mountainous areas. “.

This plant is at the forefront of environmental innovation ” still defends elected officials. ” It does not produce greenhouse gases, fine particles, noise or smoke; it contributes to Guyana’s energy independence and its economic development “. ” To move, to postpone again, to withdraw would be to bury the project.they continue regretfully our area is the worst signal for its attractiveness and development. Our area faces an urgent need for investment and suffers from a historic and chronic lack of basic infrastructure. “.

Elected officials remember this too The instability and fragility of Guyana’s energy grid is a major impediment to its development “. ” Power outages (more than 141 in 2022), constant risks of power outages threaten the safety, security and public health of our fellow citizens “. ” The status quo will condemn us to downgrade, underdevelopment and poverty. Our population, our region, our companies are not secondary. They have the right to progress, prosperity and security. It is no longer time for simple observation, but for decisive and effective action for our future they insist.

certainty that it will open to dialogue “, elected officials claim to have heard” We answer each of the concerns and questions expressed by some of our compatriots “but they see” One of the solutions to be implemented in the CEOG project” for “Contributing to the region’s energy autonomy “. They also condemn manipulation and lies », « the activism of a minority is far removed from our local problems “and still need this plant” will generate stable, guaranteed and non-polluting electricity to supply all year round, day and night, the equivalent of 10,000 homes in Western French Guiana. “.

It adapts perfectly to its environment and respects the local population. We have carried this requirement from the beginning of the project and will continue to ensure its full implementation “, writing to Guyanese elected officials,” the right to development, modernity and innovation ” of the area. Consisting of a photovoltaic solar park and a giant energy storage facility in the form of hydrogen, the CEO consumes only sun and water and produces only electricity and steam, water, as we can read on the project’s website. It is also ensured that the central ” It corresponds to the needs expressed in the Multiannual Energy Program (PPE) of French Guiana “.

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