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…as Opposition Leader writes to 50+ int’l organisations highlighting the issue
The Leader of the Opposition, Joseph Harmon, has written to over 50 international organizations highlighting, what he described as, the wanton destruction of mangrove on the West Bank of the Demerara River at Versailles/Malgre Tout.
In the letter, the Opposition Leader said the destruction of the mangroves by the People’s Progressive Party/Civic (PPP/C) is a disturbing pattern of disregard for the principles of environmental protection and sustainable development.
“[T]he destruction of approximately 48 acres of mangrove at Versailles-Malgre Tout, West Bank Demerara, Guyana by a company, Tri-Star Incorporated, which has been given approval by the Government of Guyana to establish a shore-base facility, has caused serious alarm, for Guyanese as a whole and in particular, the residents of the aforementioned areas, which are prone to severe flooding during high tides,” a section of the letter read.
It added: “It is apposite to note that mangroves under the Laws of Guyana are protected species as they perform important functions with respect to flooding and the marine ecosystem particularly in the context of the threats and the increased risks to Guyana’s low-lying coastline posed by predicted rises in sea levels.”
Harmon said while the Opposition is not against development “it appears that no Environmental Impact Assessment (EIA) was conducted by the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) and that the requisite permits from the regulatory agencies such as the Guyana Forestry Commission were not obtained.”
The letter was sent to the Conservation International, the Inter-American Development Bank (IDB), Commonwealth Secretariat, Centre for International Forestry Research, Amazon Conservation Team, Darwin Initiative, Mamiraua Institute for Sustainable Development, McArthur Foundation, and Boise State University.
“Tri-Star Inc intends to utilize the vast riverfront area, which serves as a sanctuary and breeding ground for birds and marine life, to establish a shore base to service the ExxonMobil off shore oil exploration and production operations,” Harmon said.