The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) conducted a workshop entitled “Berbice Restoration of Wellington Park Mangrove Reserve Sub- Regional Project”, under the North Brazil Shelf, Large Marine Ecosystem Project, during the period January 14-15, 2020, at the EPA Whim Office.
This project focuses on the restoration of a coastal wetland area (mangrove area) by means of an Ecosystem Based Management (EBM) approach. The EBM approach places significant emphasis on community’s involvement in the maintenance and management of their community. Ten members of the Wellington Park community were trained to collect water, soil, vegetation, invertebrate and vertebrate samples. The aim is to have a cadre of trained residents who can be re-engaged in the future and assist with the restoration project. The EPA believes that this is one step in promoting community involvement in the management of their environment.
Another component of the project, saw the Agency engaging sawmill operators in the Wellington Park Community regarding their waste management practices. These practices have contributed to the depletion of mangroves in the area. The Agency will continue to work with the community stakeholders to pilot the EBM approach to environmental management.
Mangroves play an important role in Guyana’s sea defense, providing a natural barrier against sea level rise and salt water intrusion. Even more important, is their role in climate change mitigation; mangrove forests are known to sequester more carbon than most tropical rainforests. These ecosystems also contain a high level of biodiversity and offer communities opportunities for alternative income generation.