20 acres of mangroves cleared for Berbice deep water port
- Berbice Chamber says all permits and no-objections were secured
A deep water port is being constructed near the mouth of the Berbice River in Region Six and 20 acres of mangroves have been cleared to facilitate this.
The deep water port will occupy a 30-acre plot of land. After concerns were raised about the clearance of large swathes of mangroves at the plot, however, the Berbice Chamber of Commerce and Industry has noted that mangroves from 20 of the 30 acres of land were cleared. Importantly, though, the Chamber pointed out that this was done following the acquisition of the necessary permits and no-objections.
See below full statement from the Berbice Chamber of Commerce and Development Association:
The Berbice Chamber of Commerce and Development Association (BCCDA) is an integral partner in the development of the Berbice Deep Water Port by CGX Energy Inc. and its subsidiary Grand Canal Industrial Estates, since 2010.
As an integral development partner of this project, which is of pivotal importance to the development of Regions 5 and 6, we wish to inform the public of the trajectory of the project, especially as it relates to mangrove removal and environmental protections.
Particularly: this project sought and received all permissions for clearing of land, monitoring of the environment and consultation with residents and key stakeholders.
The Company has been an exemplary corporate citizen and partner to Berbicians, who are not only supportive of this project but view it as critical to Berbice’s development.
The initial area acquired for the project by the Company in January 2010 was 55 acres, on the eastern bank of the Berbice River, adjacent and north of Crab Island. As per required regulations, the Company sought permission from the Guyana Forestry Commission (GFC) for the clearing of vegetation at the site. The GFC provided their no objection on May 10th, 2010.
The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) provided an accompanying permit for the construction and operation of a Wharf, Logistics Yard and Storage Facility at the site, on 2ndDecember 2010.
Additionally, the Maritime Administration Department (MARAD) on November 25th, 2010, provided permission for Construction of a Wharf Facility at the site. The Sea Defence Board (SDB) provided approval for the construction of flood protection infrastructure at the site on July 24th 2018. The Neighborhood Democratic Council of Ordinance Fort Lands/#38 Neighbourhood Democratic Council provided their no objection for the establishment of a Wharf, Supply base and Storage yard, North of Crab Island, on the right bank of the Berbice River, on 15th March, 2010. On the 11th November, 2010, the Central Housing and Planning Authority provided permission for plans submitted for building works at the site.
The Fisheries Department of the Ministry of Agriculture provided their no objection to the project on October 19, 2010. The Guyana Defence Force provided their no objection to the project on November 23rd, 2010.
Having secured all required permits and no-objections, the Company proceeded to clear an area of 400m X 200 m or 20 acres in 2011. This comprised 36% of the land allocated for the project, with the remaining 64% kept in its original state.
An Environmental and Management Plan (EAMP) for the site was commissioned by the Company and performed by Environmental Management Consultants. This plan was submitted to the EPA in September 2010 and detailed the clearing of the 400m X 200m portion of the land, impacts on the Physical Environment, Biological Environment and Socio-Economic Environment. The EAMP furthermore provided procedures for impact mitigation on these environments and a monitoring plan. The EPA permit for the project stipulated annual monitoring to be conducted and reported annually based on the monitoring plan detailed in the EAMP. The Company, since 2011 has commissioned quarterly monitoring of all parameters – physical, biological and socio-economic – by an independent company approved by the EPA; Environmental Management Consultants.
Over the past 11 years, the Company has submitted annual reports on the monitoring of the site to the EPA.
In 2021, the land allocated for the project was reduced by 25 acres, so that the project site now encompasses 30 acres. The Company, despite this reduction, has stuck to its stated intention of not clearing any additional lands thereby allocating a full third of its available land, or 10 acres,
to retain standing mangroves. The Company has also publicly stated that it intends to partner with all stakeholders, including the BCCDA, to utilize the 10 acres of preserved Mangroves as a living laboratory to further understand coastal Mangrove habitats.
The Berbice economy is in a depressed state; most of the development around Oil and Gas in Guyana has occurred in Demerara. CGX is the only Oil and Gas Company that has invested in Berbice – not only the deep water port, but also with drilling of three onshore wells, location of their logistics yard and staging of many activities for their recent Kawa-1 well from Berbice, including quarantining of their personnel in Berbice as opposed to Georgetown.
This Company has always been respectful to Berbicians and have consulted with us at every step of their projects. Long before Local Content was written in our Country’s Laws, CGX has been leading by example on their engagement of local content. We at the BCCDA are very supportive
of the Deep Water Port project and furthermore wish to assure our fellow Guyanese that we are integrally involved and are well aware of our responsibilities to the environment and the economic development of our county.