January 29, 2018
Human impacts continue to challenge mangroves forest
As human impacts continue to challenge the restoration of mangroves, the National Agricultural Research and Extension Institute (NAREI) has been implementing various promotional tools to educate persons about this important resource.
Garbage dumping, harvesting and grazing of livestock are three main human impacts affecting mangroves forest along the East Coast Demerara foreshore. These issues were highlighted during a one-day workshop held by NAREI.
The event was attended by a total of 23 community volunteers, Neighbour Democratic Council (NDC) officials and mangrove rangers last Saturday at Cove and John.
Mr. Ramkarran Boodram Deputy Chairman of the Better Hope/LBI NDC, while expressing his satisfaction with the restoration of the mangroves within his NDC, indicated that garbage dumping within the mangroves forest continues to be a significant challenge. This is particularly so within the villages of Bette Hope, Vryhied’s Lust, Brothers/Montrose and Chateau Margot.
Household waste and shrimp waste is continually being dumped in these areas. The NDC is currently engaging residents through a series of community meetings. It is expected that these issues will be highlighted with a view of finding appropriate solutions.
Mr. Royston Kingston, Chairman of Haslington/ Golden Grove, one of the largest NDCs, along the East Coast, expressed that his NDC is faced with similar issues and this is having a negative impact on their mangrove resources. Although, the instances have reduced, farmers continue to graze their livestock within the mangroves. Also, there have been reports of harvesting for fishing poles, and garden poles.
Members of the East Coast Village Mangrove Action Committee, a volunteer group under NAREI, identified a number of interventions to be implemented during 2018 that will seek to address these issues. They include public awareness and education programmes on the importance of mangroves, target youths through environmental clubs and engage the relevant government agencies such as EPA.
It should be noted that mangroves are protected under the Forestry Act and as such it is legal to destroy mangroves without permission of from the Guyana Forestry Commission.