Guyana's Ambitious Marine Conservation Strategy
The Guyana Marine Conservation Society (GMCS) has launched a strategic plan for the period 2022-2027, to support ocean biodiversity conservation.
The strategic plan notes that Guyana’s marine environment is impacted by various developments related to human activity, and hence, posits a need for greater focus on marine and coastal interventions.
Our Areas of Focus
The research center focus areas include Ecosystems, Environmental trends, Shipping, Mangrove, Marine species and Seabirds
Even though Guyana’s marine and coastal environment is of immense biological and socioeconomic importance, to date, conservation interventions related to the marine environment have been limited to mainly sea turtle conservation, the establishment of the coastal Shell Beach Protected Area (SBPA) in 2011 and mangrove restoration along some coastal shorelines from 2010 to present. But as our blue economy develops, so will the increasing impacts on our ocean resources, in particular by the oil and gas sector. This will result in pressures on our marine and coastal ecosystems to maintain their productivity and to continue to provide important ecosystem services to sustain biodiversity and our livelihoods.
Though much less studied that their terrestrial counterpart, our coastal ecosystems are highly productive. The inter-tidal mudflats and narrow sandy and shell beaches, and in some areas, mangrove forests, contribute to stabilizing our particularly vulnerable coastline. The shell beaches provide a nesting habitat for four species of IUCN endangered sea turtles and the shoreline is an important birding site, scarlet ibises, Caribbean herons and egrets all foraging along the coast. It is estimated that the Shell Beach Protected Area alone, supports over 200 species of native and migratory birds. Important mammalian species that occupy our marine waters include the Guiana Dolphin (Sotalia guianensis), West Indian manatee (Trichechus manatus), the Sei Whale (Balaenoptera borealis), the Blue Whale (Balaenoptera musculus), and Sperm Whale (Physeter macrocephalus).
As the threats to our marine and coastal ecosystems increase, so does the urgency for greater focus to be placed on wider marine and coastal conservation interventions. Not only to ensure the country’s resilience to climate change, but as importantly to maintain a healthy ocean on which our coastal communities especially the indigenous ones depend on for their survival.
In The News
Local stories on marine conservation that make the news
Sarah Singh: Sparking environmental awareness among children in the Barima-Mora Passage
Indigenous children from the Barima-Mora Passage in Region One (Barima-Waini) have been able to understand the environment in which they...
Passions taking Flight: Drone Operation in Guyana with Sarah Singh
How does drone operation relate to the study of oceanic sciences? Ask Sarah Singh, a 21 year old Marine Biology...
The Climate Test of Guyana’s Mangroves
Trotting through the swamps of the Imbotero, Barima Waini Mangrove Forest, 50-year-old Huburn Jacobs seeks out crab holes. As he...