The area which was cleared of mangroves on the West Bank Demerara
BY Shaquawn Gill
Minister of Natural Resources, Vickram Bharat has added his voice to the destruction of acres of mangroves on the West Bank Demerara by TriStar Incorporated Shore Base which is expected to service the Oil and Gas sector.
On the sidelines of an engagement in Diamond last week, the minister was asked about his position on the destruction of the mangroves.
“Any disruption of our forest or trees is something we don’t encourage, however, I am sure that the relevant minister and ministries and the EPA can work together to find some way as to how we can remedy that situation,” Natural Resources Minister Vickram Bharat told BIG Smith News Watch.
The minister’s comments come just days after Ministers Edghill and Indar of the Public Works Ministry defended the destruction of the mangroves during a press conference last week. At that press conference, it was noted that the removal of the mangroves were necessary to facilitate development.
Concerns have been raised that West Bank Demerara residents will be affected as well as probable instances of flooding that can occur as a result of the destruction
of the mangroves, concerns were also raised about the mangrove’s role in offsetting carbon emissions, particularly those emanating from the vessels being used in oil production.
Conservationist Annette Arjoon-Martins in an interview under a year ago, said that Guyana needs the addition of approximately 460,000 acres of
mangroves to offset the large emissions emanating from the work being done by ExxonMobil and its subsidiaries.
“We know that [approximately] 87% of our landmass is covered by forest…and we balance off basically all the carbon that we produce because of our vegetation and
that is something we do take seriously,” Minister Bharat reminded.
He said that it is his hope as Minister of Natural Resources that all parties involved can work to ensure that what took place on the West Bank Demerara does not see a reoccurrence of the removal of these mangroves as they still play a significant role.