…recommits to conserving two million more hectares of natural environment
PRESIDENT David Granger is committed to Guyana earning the international brand as a ‘green state’ and is geared towards earning this title. The Head of State reaffirmed Guyana’s support to the Paris Agreement on Climate Change and reiterated his intention to conserve some two million more hectares of land and waterways.
President Granger reiterated these statements Saturday last, when the Tourism and Hospitality Association of Guyana (THAG) celebrated its 25th anniversary and held their President’s Awards Ceremony 2017 at the Marriott Hotel. The President said that he personally signed onto the United Nations Paris Agreement on climate change last April and has no intention of erasing his signature, given recent developments that the United States had pulled its support from the environmental commitment.
“I pledged as part of Guyana’s commitment under that agreement to place an additional two million hectares under conservation,” the President told the gathering of tourism stakeholders that included government officials, diplomats and civil society.
“I promised the Guyanese people also that the protected areas system will be expanded and extended country-wide. Protected areas will be established on the coastland and the hinterland. Every region will become a green region administered by a green capital town. And eventually, every region will have at least one legally designated regional protected area.”
These protected areas can become profitable destinations for sustainable tourism, President Granger pointed out. He opined that the tourism industry relies heavily on the country’s natural environment, recognising that eco-tourism was the country’ main product to visitors. The president said too that Guyana recognises the benefit in projecting a favourable image and possessing a sound international reputation for protecting the environment. “I am selling Guyana as a green state,” the president insisted. He said this sector once developed, can bring many benefits, such as economic opportunities for young persons leaving school.
Following the recent arrest of several persons who were alleged to be conducting mining activities in the Kaieteur Falls area, the Amerindian People’s Association is now calling for government to revisit the national protection policy regarding the park to accommodate what they say are the rights of Amerindians, particularly the Patamona people,to whom the organisation says, the territory belongs. Although the government dropped potential charges against the alleged illegal miners, Minister of State, Joseph Harmon, emphasised Government’s firm position that anyone found mining illegally in any protected area will be arrested and there will be no exceptions.