Latest update March 25th, 2023 12:52 AM
Feb 23, 2023 News
Kaieteur News – Conservationists on Wednesday last at Moray House, Camp Street, Georgetown signaled their intention of approaching the government to implement some form of environmental protection for the Barima Mora-Passage located in Region One.
The Barima-Mora Passage is one of the largest intact mangrove forests remaining in the country and recent biological surveys conducted in the area show that it is a biodiversity hotspot. On Wednesday last a presentation on Birds of the Barima-Mora Passage was held at Moray House and it was at this event that that the President of the Guyana Marine Conservation Society (GMCS), Annette Arjoon said: “…It is really, really urgent that we consider the importance to having this area (Barima-Mora Passage) being placed under some type of protection but also most importantly to have a co-management system where the indigenous communities mainly Waraus who live in the area are very much part of that protection.”
Arjoon told the media that GMSC has already begun the process of approaching the government with a proposal to protect the Barima-Mora Passage. “…We are preparing a dossier (collection of documents) for the policymakers that is going to be informed by all the scientific data that we have been collecting for the past year and a half,” Arjoon related. She explained that the documents being prepared will show policymakers that the area is a “biodiversity hotspot” especially in time when Guyana is expanding its Low Carbon Development Strategy (LCDS) 2030. Two of the main goals of LCDS 2030 are to create incentives for a Low Carbon Economy and protect against climate change and biodiversity loss.
The Barima-Mora passage has an abundance of biodiversity and according to Arjoon several ICUN (The International Union for Conservation of Nature) registered species (endangered species) were found in that area alone during one mammal survey. “…When we do another mammal survey that number may go up and that is a big deal,” Arjoon said, while adding: “we have 14,000 hectares of mangroves (in the Barima-Mora Passage) whose carbon value as you know would be five times as much as any other forest in Guyana. ” “…And the carbon credits of this area is part of our national inventory that we are right now capitalising on so if we don’t protect and that area is reduced it will reduce our national inventory with big implications”, the GMCS president stressed.
The conservationists said too that apart from its rich biodiversity and intact Mangrove Forest, the Barima-Mora Passage has a “very healthy fishing population when compared with the other five coastal regions” in Guyana.
Kaieteur News learnt from another conservationists present at presentation that it is already under threat of being overfished. That individual explained that fishermen from the other coastal regions in Guyana are entering the area and exploiting the fishing resources which can in turn not affect the indigenous population living in there but the entire eco-system.
Meanwhile, American bird expert, Brian O’Shea said “If you were to not protect the Barima-Mora Passage not only would it be, I think disastrous for just coastal conservation in general but also think that from a resource perspective it would be impoverishing the communities that are dependent on these resources and dependent on the thriving mangrove forest.” O’Shea also warned some of the threats to look out for are deforestation of the mangroves, over fishing, over harvesting of wildlife, and contamination of the rivers as result of mining activities in the Region area.
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