World Wetlands Day prize winner
Wetlands are areas where water covers the soil, or is present either at or near the surface of the soil all year or for varying periods of time during the year, including during the growing season. World Wetlands Day is celebrated internationally each year on February 02. This year, World Wetlands Day was celebrated under the theme “Wetlands and Water”. This year also marks the momentous 50th anniversary of the signing of the Ramsar Convention on Wetlands.
Guyana is fortunate to have both coastal and inland wetlands in all ten (10) administrative regions. These wetlands filter water, prevent flood and help in soil erosion control. For many persons, wetlands were once thought of as useless swamps. But now, we know they are home to abundant fish and wildlife, as well as a valuable natural resource. To observe World Wetlands Day, the EPA planned activities to raise awareness and encourage action.
Along with our weekly newspaper articles, officers of the Agency were interviewed on Guyana Today (NCN Channel 11), highlighting the importance of wetlands and informing the public about planned activities, which included an Instagram exclusive quiz. This activity saw five (5) winners emerging, most of whom were from Region Four. This quiz encouraged persons to do research on wetlands and increased the number of followers on the Agency’s Instagram account.
During Wetlands Week, radio interviews were conducted to give the listeners near and far an opportunity to appreciate wetlands, which is more than just a body of water. These interviews were conducted on 102.5FM, 104.1 FM, Radio Bartica, and Radio Lethem.
The Agency hosted its first Facebook Live (panel discussion) for the year 2021 to commemorate World Wetlands Day. This activity brought about added awareness to the importance of wetlands in Guyana from the perspectives of the agencies on the panel such as WWF- Guyana, Ministry of Housing and Water, Protected Areas Commission, Conservation International and the Environmental Protection Agency. The topics discussed were “wetlands in Guyana – home to a myriad of species, the importance of wetlands protection (in relation to development), the North Rupununi Wetlands and ecosystem services, and initiatives taken to protect wetlands in Guyana”, spinoffs from wetland protection, and what homeowners and potential hotel owners/ community owners can do to protect wetlands.