Over the past three years, the government has invested more than $500 million to the restoration and expansion of the country’s mangrove ecosystem.
“This shows the government’s commitment and what we are doing as an administration,” Minister of Agriculture, Zulfikar Mustapha said on Sunday at an exercise.
The National Agricultural Research and Extension Institute (NAREI) in collaboration with the Environmental Management Consultants (EMC) Foundation, hosted a mangrove tour along the East Coast shoreline, from MovieTowne to the Ogle Gas Station.
The exercise was held in observance of International Day of the Conservation of the Mangrove Ecosystem, which is celebrated annually on July 26, to further promote strategies for the sustainable management, conservation, and utilisation of the mangrove ecosystem, and to increase awareness.
Minister Mustapha commended NAREI and EMC for collaborating on several initiatives over the years, including the establishment of a mangrove restoration site at Ogle and others across the country.
Minister Mustapha said partnerships like these are critical to further develop Guyana’s mangrove ecology and effectively battle climate change.
He noted that these activities can be replicated in other parts of the country, especially Berbice and Essequibo, to highlight the importance of mangroves.
“Climate change is real. Before, we used to have two inches of rainfall in two months. Now, we are having six and seven inches of rainfall in two hours. We are living in a very vulnerable region, and we must be prepared,” the agriculture minister stated.
The government is actively working to restore mangroves in about 12 areas, and conducting training across the country.
Meanwhile, EMC’s Founder and Managing Director, Shyam Nokta noted that the agency intends to continue working with NAREI, the River and Sea Defence Board, and other stakeholders to further enhance the area.
“And to make it a zone for recreation as it already is. But also, for the awareness of the environment and conservation. And especially now where we are seeing, after many years, mangroves coming back along the foreshore,” Nokta disclosed.
British High Commissioner to Guyana, Jane Miller in brief remarks noted that the protection of mangroves is important to the environment and the future of Guyana’s economy.
(Modified from the Department of Public Information)