On Sunday, the National Agricultural Research and Extension Institute (NAREI) in collaboration with the Environmental Management Consultants (EMC) Foundation, hosted a mangrove tour along the 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 of Agriculture, Zulfikar 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.
Partnerships like these are critical, the minister stressed, to further develop Guyana’s mangrove ecology and effectively battle climate change.
“And I want to also ask the other private sector bodies to come on board. We must not look at the government’s allocation and other corporate entities. We must do this in a partnership because 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 added.
Minister Mustapha noted that these activities can be replicated in other parts of the country, especially Berbice and Essequibo, to highlight the importance of mangroves.
“Since I became Minister of Agriculture, we have expended more than $500 million in the restoration and the development of our mangrove system. This shows the government’s commitment and what we are doing as an administration,” Minister Mustapha stated.
The administration 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, H.E Jane Miller noted that the protection of mangroves is important to the environment and the future of Guyana’s economy.
EMC has been an integral partner with NAREI’s mangrove department towards the execution of several public awareness and educational activities. (Department of Public Information)