In Guyana, mangroves are being removed to install sea defence works, and residents of nearby communities are not pleased:
Residents of Ruimzigt on the West Coast of Demerara say they are concerned that sea defence works have resulted in the clearing of mangroves and other vegetation along the shoreline.
Stabroek News visited the shorefront last week where there are ongoing works to the sea defence. Three large excavators were noticed piling large rocks on the area where mangroves and other vegetation were growing and acting as a natural defence to the incoming waves.
“They been working here for a while now. Since last year and they been removing the trees and everything that used to be there and we know that you can’t do that. Nobody used to chop them things down and now it just got one big tree standing there,” one resident explained.
In 2010, new regulations were put in place that prohibited the removal of mangroves and restoration projects across the coastland were subsequently launched.
Significant sums of monies have been expended and budgeted on the regeneration of mangroves along the coastline over the years.
What makes this situation particularly concerning is that the maintenance of mangrove belts actually contributes to effective coastal defence.
See also: information about Guyana’s Mangrove Restoration and Management Department from the National Agriculture Research and Extension Institute.
[Image via Stabroek News]