Funding sources disclosed for completed mangrove action plan

At handing over…
THE Mangrove Action Committee (MAC), yesterday, handed over the completed National Mangrove Action Plan 2010 to Agriculture Minister Robert Persaud, in his ministry boardroom, Regent and Vlissengen Roads, Georgetown.
Immediately, he said it is not something to sit on a shelf, rather it is both practical and productive.
It is important, considering the main service that mangroves provide, as a natural form of sea defence in the face of climate change impacts, Mr. Persaud observed.
He said the shoreline is not very well protected from tides and mangroves will serve to buffer and secure it.
The strategy, for a three-year execution, was drafted with support from several stakeholders and regional consultations.
The drafting was undertaken to advance the $100M Government funded Guyana Mangrove Restoration Project (GMRP), the objectives of which are:

•    to promote sustainable management of mangrove forest;

•    develop effective protection of mangrove ecosystem and rehabilitation;

•    increase public awareness and education on the benefits of the mangrove forests;

•    establish and complete a legal framework for mangrove ecosystem management

•    encourage community-based mangrove management and

•    establish the administrative capacity for the management of mangroves in Guyana.

The project is managed by the MAC within the Climate Change and Agricultural Adaptation Unit of the National Agricultural Research Institute (NARI) under the Agriculture Ministry.
Minister Persaud said the plan he received is one step in the right direction and urged its timely and effective implementation.

He said everyone has a role to play in the implementing and, in supporting it, communities must advance efforts to make their villages resilient to climate change.
Persaud lauded the creative ways in which the plan provides for community participation and remarked that the creative provisions in it take the form of livelihood support and includes epiculture or beekeeping.
MAC Chairperson, Mrs. Annette Arjoon-Martins reported that there has been tremendous response at the grassroots level as well as significant “buy in” by the Private Sector.
She said the MAC knows where it wants to go and the crafted plan is what will advance the vision of the stakeholders.
Director of NARI, Dr. Oudho Homenauth said the plan’s completion is the first phase of the GMRP.
He recalled that there have been plans of similar nature previously and they were used as a base for what is now to be implemented.
Charge d’Affaires of the European Delegation, Ms. Manuela Pinteiro, who was also present at the handing over, said, under the European Union (EU) Global Climate Change Alliance budget line, a programme linked to sustainable coastal zone management was developed and 4.165 million euros is available to the GMRP and the financing agreement is expected to be signed soon.
She said, even after the signing, before the funds are released, certain prerequisites have to be met but she expressed her satisfaction with the completion of the blueprint.
Team Leader, Technical Assistance, Mr. John Townend said the MAC is being supported through the EU’s Sector Policy Support Programme (SPSP), which is divided into sector budget and project support.

He said, for the first, finance is accessible in fixed tranches, to which are attached limited conditions while, for latter, availability is in variable tranches.
According to him, the SPSP components are as follows:

Of the 4.165 million euros, 3.685 million constitutes variable tranches which will be disbursed over the NMAP three-year duration.

The indicative disbursement timetable is outlined below:
Mangroves are essentially forests that are found on the seacoast and riverside that can grow in areas of high salinity and tidal flooding.


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