Improving mangrove protection
Over the course of the project, we conducted a detailed review of the GMRP’s mangrove restoration efforts. We completed an inventory of mangrove species and the distribution of Guyana’s coastal mangrove ecosystem. We also analysed the mangrove protection and restoration methods, survival rates and sustainability. In addition, we conducted an assessment of the impacts of illegal logging, grazing and infrastructure development on the coastal and estuarine mangrove areas of Guyana.
Based on this information, we helped the GMRP develop and implement a new strategy for rehabilitating mangroves. Previously, Guyana built artificial sea walls to protect the coast. These can be very costly to construct and maintain. As such, we suggested measures designed to increase the recovery of the mangroves along the Guyanese coast, including:
- Introducing alternative restoration methodologies, such as planting coastal grass species
- Constructing fences to control grazing
- Hydrologic restoration
This would ensure the protection and conservation of the mangroves, providing protection for the coast in less time and at a lower cost than sea walls.
We also assisted with the development of a GIS-based monitoring and mapping system. To achieve a harmonised monitoring system for the coastal zone, we also helped integrate the mangrove monitoring with:
- Sea defence monitoring
- Monitoring, reporting and verification of forests under Reduced Emissions from Forest Deforestation and Degradation (REDD+) scheme. REDD+ allows countries to generate carbon credits from forest areas that are protected from degradation or cutting
We also conducted a biodiversity assessment of mangrove sites. This can be used as a baseline for future assessments and as the basis for future management plans for these areas.