The educational outreach programme of the Mangrove Restoration Project continued yesterday with a visit to the Hope Secondary School on the East Coast Demerara.
Community Development Specialist Paul McAdam who headed the team, told Kaieteur News that the visit was part of the plan to reach more persons in the areas where planting would take place, through their children, who are being encouraged to spread the word through their communities.
Yesterday’s visit to the school was aimed at connecting with the students before they go off on their holidays. A community outreach programme is planned for the Hope community next Wednesday evening
During yesterday’s session, students and parents were enlightened about the different types of mangroves in Guyana, and the do’s and don’ts, and why it is necessary to preserve them.
McAdam said that close to 200 children appeared to be excited about the project, especially when they were made aware of the dangers of weak sea and river defences and the role mangroves play towards this. There were animated discussions as most grasped the aim of the project.
The Hope area is primarily residential, with some agriculture taking place. The mangroves there serve as a nesting ground for pink flamingos only half-a-mile away from the school.
However, there is a vulnerable spot in the sea defence in that area, where remedial works are currently being carried out.
This will be supplemented by the mangrove restoration. The only issue that affects mangroves in this particular area is the fact that some natural erosion is occurring and fishermen are pulling boats through the mangroves, which causes some damage.
However, the mangroves have begun to grow back on their own and the current project is expected to speed up the growth.
Meanwhile, a two-day training programme on Mangrove Ecology, Planting and Management began yesterday at the Guyana School of Agriculture. Project Coordinator Bissasar Chintamanie said the objective is to educate persons on Mangrove Ecology, Planting and Management. Participants were drawn from persons who would be involved in the actual project since it is essential that they get the prerequisite training. Over the two days of the programme, participants will be exposed to mangrove planting practices and the Ecological Restorations Protocols (EMR) on Mangrove Restorations, he explained.
The sessions are facilitated by Mangrove Specialist, Owen Bovell, and participants also included personnel from the Guyana Forestry Commission, the Sea Defence Department, Environmental Protection Agency, Guyana School of Agriculture, N.A.R.I, Fisheries Depart., N.D.I.A and the Local Communities. A manual on Mangrove Ecology and Management is also being developed for distribution to stakeholders.
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