EU earmarks €1.25 million to protect areas off Guyana and Suriname

2017, March 1: The European Union has earmarked 1.25 Million Euros to assist the World Wildlife Fund to establish marine protected areas within the Exclusive Economic Zones (EEZ)of Guyana and Suriname. Both countries will set aside 10% of their EEZ to facilitate the project which has a target date of 2020.  The project will be executed by Protected Areas Commission of Guyana and the Nature Conservation Service of the Suriname government.

The Aichi Biodiversity Targets of the United Nations Convention on Biological Diversity requires signatory countries to set aside 10% of their marine coastal systems as protected areas. Representative of WWF Guianas, Laurens Gomes told the project launch and signing ceremony that the oceans capture more carbon emissions than all of the world’s forests and the fisheries sector is a “very critical food source” for many communities. Gomes said experts would tap into the knowledge and experience of people who are already using the oceans.

The project envisages three-dimensional modelling of the coasts of the Guianas to obtain comprehensive and visually appealing data to influence decision-makers.

“Overall, this project will fill critical information gaps by developing  comprehensive and visually appealing spatial data (a  Geographical Information Systems atlas and a 3-D ocean maps) collated through participator processes, enabling informed decision-making regarding marine protection and management,” the EU said in a statement. []