Jul 27, 2020 News
…in light of ExxonMobil’s flaring
A Fair Deal for Guyana, a movement which seeks to protect the environment for present and future generations, is calling on the Protected Areas Commission to place the nation’s remaining mangroves under legal protection immediately.
The call by this locally and internationally respected campaign comes on the heels of International Day for the Conservation of the Mangrove Ecosystems which was officially commemorated on Sunday.
The Group was keen to note that mangroves are a critical element in Guyana’s sea defences.
It noted however that when they are cut down, thinned, or damaged by garbage and fire, the coastal communities immediately suffer from rising sea-levels while adding that vital farmlands and crops that are essential to the nation’s food security are affected.
Now that Guyana has a new sector on stream, that is to say the oil and gas industry, local and international stakeholders posit that the role of mangroves will be even more important since they serve as carbon sinks by absorbing enormous amounts of carbon dioxide and other greenhouse gases.
Extensive research by a Fair Deal for Guyana shows that mangroves are among the most carbon-rich tropical forests and can store twice as much carbon per-area than other forests.
With this in mind, the movement which seeks to protect the environment is concerned that these carbon sink benefits for Guyana are being wiped out by fossil fuel emissions by ExxonMobil.
In this regard, one of the members for A Fair Deal for Guyana, International Lawyer Melinda Janki, was keen to remind ExxonMobil has flared or burnt approximately 10 billion cubic feet of gas via the Liza Destiny oil vessel.
This news agency would have reported as well that from last year Christmas to now, ExxonMobil has been flaring gas due to mechanical issues being experienced with the Liza Destiny’s gas compressor system. It has since been sent to Germany to be fixed.
Importantly, Guyana does not have enough acres of mangroves to offset the greenhouse gas emissions being released by ExxonMobil. To do so, the nation would need an additional 460,000 acres of mangroves.
This was noted most recently by Conservationist, Annette Arjoon-Martins. (SEE LINK FOR FULL STORY: https://www.kaieteurnewsonline.com/2020/07/26/guyana-requires-additional-460000-acres-of-mangroves-to-offset-emissions-from-exxonmobils-flaring-conservationist/)
In an invited comment, Janki stated, “It is madness to contribute to rising sea-levels, to ocean acidification and to the death of mangroves. Yet, that is precisely what Guyana is doing by allowing ExxonMobil to produce oil and flare billions of cubic feet of natural gas.”
The international lawyer unequivocally stated that the lives of the Guyanese people and the ecosystems that they depend on are more important than ExxonMobil’s attempts to survive in a dying industry.
Taking these and other critical points into consideration, Janki and the other members of the movement strongly posited that efforts be made to put an immediate halt to activities that are damaging Guyana’s mangroves and to save what remains.
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