The Mangrove Restoration Project began planting young mangrove plants on Hope Beach, East Coast Demerara last Tuesday.
The event saw participation of the President Youth Award Republic of Guyana (PYARG) volunteers from communities and other personnel from the project. The aim is to plant 16 hectares of mangroves at different locations along the Coast over a 10-day period, which will end this week.
According to Project Coordinator of the Guyana Mangrove Restoration Project (GMRP), Bissasar Chintamanie, it is expected that 11 Kilometers of the Coastland would be planted by 2012.
Some of the volunteers assisting in the planting of Mangroves at Hope Beach
He said the areas selected for the mangrove replanting followed an analysis by a mangrove specialist.
Chintamanie said that there are five ecological restoration protocols for mangroves that must be implemented before planting was done at Hope Beach.
Some of the other intended areas set for planting are: Mon Repos and Victoria, East Coast Demerara; Number Six Village, West Coast Berbice; Lima on the Essequibo Coast and Wakenaam.
According to the Chair of the Mangrove Committee, Annette Arjoon-Martins, the main decision to restore and protect the mangrove was based on the role it plays in sea defence.
NARI’s Director, Dr. Oudho Homenauth previously pointed out that mangroves play an essential role since there is currently an increased risk posed by the predicted rise in sea level.
He said that significant potential exists to reverse the worldwide loss of mangrove forests through the application of basic principles of ecological restoration and ecological engineering approaches.
The total area of mangrove forest in Guyana is estimated at 80,432 hectares. The Management plan seeks to protect the mangrove forest from destruction and also to regenerate the forest in areas where it has been destroyed.
Guyana with its low-lying coastal plain and a crumbling and under-resourced sea and river defence system is at exceptional risk with sea level rise being one of the more certain outcomes of global warming. According to the Sea Defence Act, anyone caught cutting mangroves can be fined $12,000 and be imprisoned for twelve months.