Guyana gets €4.6M to further support mangrove restoration efforts


The European Union (EU) continued its support of Guyana’s sea defence efforts through a new budget support programme that will see €4.6 million (or about GY$1 billion) disbursed to support mangrove plans locally.

The agreement was inked by Finance Minister Dr. Ashni Singh and Executive Vice President of the European Commission Frans Timmermans at State House – President Irfaan Ali’s official residence – in Georgetown, Wednesday night.

Timmermans is the among the highest-ranking EU official to visit Guyana to date.

Through this programme, mangrove restoration efforts will be supported along Guyana’s vulnerable low-lying coastline. The funds will also be used to enhance livelihood opportunities, such as beekeeping in mangrove communities.

President Ali, who witnessed the signing, highlighted that this new programme builds on several other support programmes and partnerships with the EU. In fact, he described the EU as one of Guyana’s “strongest partners” in protecting the country’s sea defences and coastline.

And Dr. Ali posited that the new support will be essential to helping Guyana fortify its defences against rising sea levels.

“We have 200,000 hectares of coastal areas, some of which is covered by mangroves and some of which is suitable for the rejuvenation and expansion of mangroves,” President Ali said.

The new programme follows a Forest Partnership Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) signed last November on the sidelines of the Conference of the Parties (COP) 27 in Egypt and launched in March this year.

Through that partnership, Guyana is getting €5 million to help with the preservation of its forests and help indigenous communities create sustainable ventures.

Meanwhile, Timmermans said the EU is keen on strengthening bilateral ties with Guyana and it believes one of the ways it can deepen those ties is by continuing to support mangrove protection and restoration efforts.

“Mangroves are such a huge contribution to our fight against the climate crisis.

“… We are more than thrilled that we can be partners with Guyana,” he said.

Previously, the EU provided budget support to Guyana to help the country fortify sea defences on the coast. In December 2021, the final tranche of a 34 million Euros multi-year agreement between Guyana and the EU was disbursed; these funds were all used to prop up the country’s vulnerable sea defences.

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