THE EPA AND TOURISM
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“TOURISM Awareness Month 2021 gives all and sundry equal opportunity to experience the beauty and pristine nature of Guyana” – the Hon. Oneidge Waldron, Minister of Tourism, Industry, and Commerce
The quality of the environment, both natural and man-made, is essential to tourism. However, the relationship of tourism with the environment is complex. It involves many activities that can have adverse environmental effects. Many of these impacts are linked with the construction of general infrastructure such as roads and airports and tourism facilities, including resorts, hotels, restaurants, shops, golf courses, and marinas. The negative impacts of tourism development can gradually destroy environmental resources on which it depends. On the other hand, tourism, specifically eco-tourism, can create beneficial effects on the environment by contributing to environmental protection and conservation. It is a way to raise awareness of environmental values and it can serve as a tool to finance the protection of natural areas, and increase their economic importance.

The Infrastructure and Project Management Department at the EPA is tasked with the responsibility of ensuring that tourism operations are compliant with the agency’s rules and regulations. This entails the Environmental Authorisation process, which identifies potential sources of pollution and proposes measures that would minimise negative impacts. The department also conducts inspections of existing operations such as hotels and resorts and works with the Communications Department to produce educational materials for the sector. Some environmental considerations in the tourism sector include water quality and availability, solid-waste management, sewage, and impacts to local communities.

Various types and components of tourism operations produce very different environmental impacts, requiring very different environmental management tools. This is why the EPA’s permit conditions vary for the different types of activities that fall under the tourism sector. Most environmental technologies used in tourism already exist in other sectors. In addition to permitting and compliance, the EPA also conducts investigations into complaints as with other sectors in keeping with its mandate to promote, facilitate and coordinate effective environmental management and protection; and the sustainable use of Guyana’s natural resources.

HAPPY TOURISM MONTH GUYANA!

You can share your ideas and questions by sending letters to: “Our Earth, Our Environment”, C/O ECEA Programme, Environmental Protection Agency, Ganges Street, Sophia, GEORGETOWN, or email us at: eit.epaguyana@gmail.com. Follow us on Facebook and Instagram and subscribe to our YouTube channel.

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