Mangrove Species Inventory Programme off to successful start
The National Agriculture Research Institute (NARI) and the Guyana Forestry Commission (GFC) on July 26, last year, signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) which ensured that under the agreement, the Government through NARI would provide the financing for the implementation of the Mangrove Species Inventory Programme.
At the Ministry of Agriculture’s boardroom yesterday, a Geographic Information System (GIS) report was presented to the Chairperson of the Mangrove Action Committee, Annette Arjoon-Martins, in the presence of members of the European Union, GFC and NARI, where an overview of the GIS and its findings was discussed
Kaieteur News understands that the undertakings included having 470 kilometres of mangrove forest coastline inventoried for a period of three years while providing the development and operation of a computerized Geographic Information System (GIS) for the mangrove forest along the coastline and river bank areas of Guyana with the use of appropriate software.
The spatial analysis of the data collected, including interpretation of any available up-to-date digital satellite images, production of map products and services related to prioritization of requests for such services and the identification, gathering and incorporation of external datasets into the country’s coastline spatial data repository were also to be provided under this agreement.
It was also expected that there be maintenance and expansion of the data repository and related metadata base and the analysis and relation of separate datasets to create analytical products as needed.
During the presentation, it was stated that High Resolution Satellite images were used to calculate the coastal zone forest area in Guyana with the total forested area at that point being estimated at 22,632 ha (55,925 ac). Also it was reported that Regions one, two and six are the ones with the highest (most) mangrove forest whereas Region Four has the least.
This area is less than the previous coastal zone forest estimates as reported by FAO in 1990, which was at 91,000 ha and also Dr. Hans ter Steege in 2001 as 80,432 ha. This being so due to the fact that the equipment and methodology used recently would be more upgraded and efficient in comparison with those used in the previous estimates.
The findings of this assessment would enable the Guyana Mangrove Restoration Project (GMRP) to design its activities with the aim to bring about the largest positive impact in reforesting and maintaining coastal zone forest cover whilst enabling continued sustainable development and improved livelihood of Guyanese.