Protected Areas Commission opens $60M office in Lethem

--to further protect, conserve Guyana’s ecosystems

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To expand its mandate to protect and conserve Guyana’s natural ecosystems, the Protected Areas Commission (PAC) on Saturday opened a new office at 56 Commercial Block, Lethem, Region Nine.

The $60 million office is established as one of the measures to strengthen the commission’s ability to monitor and carry out preservation activities in the nearby Kanuku Mountains Protected Area (KMPA).

It will also lend support to the Konashen Amerindian Protected Area, which is primarily community-managed.

Foreign Secretary and Chairman of the PAC Board of Directors, Robert Persaud, noted that the commissioning ceremony is a clear demonstration of the government’s commitment to its people.

“[It is] a reflection of how it is that we can develop partnership at the international level, and partnership at the local level in fulfilling a very important mandate. And that mandate is stipulated and outlined in the Protected Areas Commission Act,” Persaud expressed.

The mandate, he said, is central to the government’s developmental agenda, as it outlines how biodiversity and ecosystem services are deployed for the benefit of the country, especially in those communities where protected areas are located.

Chairman of the PAC Board, Robert Persaud and other representatives and officials pose in front of the new building

“But protected areas are not only about the conservation of biodiversity, flora, and fauna, but it’s also about improving communities. It’s about improving the well-being, improving the lives of our people, particularly local communities and in many instances, indigenous communities.

“This is symbolic, but also a clear demonstration of our government’s commitment that we want to accelerate, facilitate, and ensure from all aspects that we contribute, we facilitate and engineer greater prosperity, greater development, and greater involvement of indigenous communities in our country’s development,” he added.

The chairman expressed the intention for the building to be used as an epicentre of knowledge sharing in biodiversity and conservation, as well as the inclusion and involvement of communities in achieving the goals outlined in the mandate of the PAC.

Persaud highlighted that the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) and other partners will be able to utilise the building for carrying out similar research and conservation efforts.

President of the Tourism and Hospitality Association of Guyana and PAC Board Member, Omodelle George, shared similar remarks, noting that the establishment of the office is a significant milestone in the work and development of the PAC.

George stated that it is a step towards ensuring the management and monitoring of eco-tourism and the environment.

“This office, this beautiful structure I see come to fruition is more than just a physical presence. It is a testament to our continued distribution of education,” she posited. (Extracted and modified from DPI)

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