Multi-million euros EU agreement signed for mangrove protection

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THE 4.165 million euros agreement, between the Agriculture Ministry and the European Union (EU), towards the effort to ensure that Guyana’s mangroves are protected, managed and restored, has been signed and the first tranche of funding has been made available.

Minister of Agriculture, Mr. Robert Persaud made the disclosure at his year-end press conference on Tuesday and said the targets set for the Guyana Mangrove Restoration Project (GMRP) has been surpassed.

The GMRP is a $100M coastal development programme funded by the Guyana Government, with additional funding from the EU.

The overall objective of the GMRP is to abate climate change (carbon sequestration through reforestation and forest preservation) and mitigate its effects.

It is managed by the Mangrove Action Committee (MAC) within the Climate Change and Agricultural Adaptation Unit of the National Agricultural Research Institute (NARI), and Persaud reported that, to date a number of advances have been made. They include:

* the completion of the National Mangrove Management Action Plan (NMMAP),which was submitted to Cabinet and tabled in the National Assembly;

* the establishment of the MAC, which is, currently, fully functional;

* the replanting of 60,239 mangrove seedlings on six pilot sites, at La Belle Alliance and Lima in Region Two (Pomeroon/Supenaam) and Hope, Mon Repos, Triumph, Beterverwagting and Chateau Margot on the East Coast Demerara, in Region Four(Demerara/Mahaica);

* the signing of 26 contracts with community groups and individuals for the production of an additional 153,000 mangrove seedlings to continue replanting;

* the completion of the Mangrove Nursery, at NARI, which is also fully staffed;

* the signing of the Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) with the Guyana Forestry Commission (GFC), for implementation of mapping and inventory of Guyana’s mangrove forests;

* the completion of a formal website, www.mangrovesgy.com;

* public awareness campaign on the importance of mangroves via billboards and production of pamphlets and other resource materials;

* community involvement in mangrove management and support to project activities;

* the completion of regional stakeholders workshops, and

* the completion of training programmes on mangrove ecology, seedling production, planting and management.

Persaud said Guyana needs to adapt and prepare for the challenges climate change will pose and the GMRP is one avenue towards meeting them.