In a bid to support safe maritime trade and the development of a “sustainable blue economy”, the United Kingdom (UK) Hydrographic Office (UKHO) has begun a three-week programme to build capacity in Guyana.

In a press release from the British High Commission here in Guyana, it was revealed that the UKHO will be providing training along with equipment towards efforts of helping Guyana collect relevant data related to seabed mapping surveys of coastal waters. This is part of the UK Government’s Commonwealth Marine Economies (CME) programme.

Those in attendance during the training included representatives of the Maritime Administration Department (MARAD) and the Guyana Lands and Surveys Commission.

“Almost all activity in our oceans, from shipping to monitoring delicate marine environments, depend on accurate seabed mapping data that illustrates the shape and movement of natural underwater features. So, for coastal communities like Guyana, the collection of this data is vital to supporting sustainable economic growth and protecting their communities from the effects of climate change,” the release read.

Furthermore, the collected data will be used to develop new nautical charts which will be key to supporting sustainable maritime trade in the area. The release went on to say that further information collected through these surveys will be used to support disaster planning and resilience, coastal infrastructure development, and protection of natural resources.

Meanwhile, Director General of MARAD, Claudette Rogers, noted the importance of the equipment provided by the UKHO. She said, “Multibeam sonar equipment and training from the Commonwealth Marine Economies Programme will help us to develop valuable skills which will be of benefit to Guyana for many years to come. The information gathered from subsequent surveys will provide valuable support in the development of our blue economy, allowing us to manage the development of maritime trade and the sustainable use of our natural resources.”

She continued, “As well as being used to allow vessels safe access to our ports and harbours, the data will be utilised in other disciplines such as fisheries and coastal zone management, environmental planning, and maritime security, and will also assist in the development of policies that protect our marine environment”

Greg Quinn, British High Commissioner to Guyana similarly noted the importance of the provisions of training and equipment. He said, “Oceans and rivers are the lifeblood of society. It is important to use them safely and efficiently to protect both people and the environment. Through the provision of training and the ability to collect data we are partnering with Guyana to meet its international maritime obligations and advance its socio-economic development agenda.”



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