As Guyana aims towards strengthening its sea and river defences, the European Union (EU) on Monday
presented the Ministry of Public Infrastructure with the final copy of the Guyana Sea and River Defences Manual which had been in the making since 2015.
Additionally, the EU has doled out $2 billion in funding to the Government of Guyana to facilitate the development of strategic approaches to Sea and River Defence.
The presentation was made during a ceremony at the Marriott Hotel where EU’s Ambassador Jernej Videti? handed over the cheque along with the copy of the document, the Government Information Agency (GINA) stated.
Noting that Guyana and the EU has maintained a close relationship, especially as it relates to sea and river defences, Ambassador Videti? during his remarks pointed out that the country is susceptible to rising sea levels and coast erosion which needed to be addressed through a comprehensive and extensive approach.
Further, he added that there is a dire need for the development of the country’s capacities so that fighting rising sea levels would become unproblematic. In this way, Guyana would be at a vantage point of adapting to its vulnerabilities, which in turn would reduce the effects of the issue along with climate change. Both these issues continue to be main concerns for the Government of Guyana which has been working towards reducing its impacts.
The country was additionally commended for its strident work over the past two years which has aided in protecting the country from the aforementioned global concerns.
“I am pleased to note that over the past two years, Guyana has shown marked progress in developing capacity for protecting itself from rising sea levels. A newly developed Coastal Engineering Design Manual sets the standards for designing sea and river defences specific to Guyana’s conditions.” Ambassador Videti? highlighted.
Public Infrastructure Minister David Patterson in his address expressed gratitude for the support shown by the EU in completing the documents alongside the technical staff of the Ministry. He said this document will serve as a blueprint for the way forward.
The presentation of this document comes seven months after the Government and EU had partnered to finalise the document which had been undergoing extensive review and drafting. The draft document had been crafted in collaboration with the Ministry of Agriculture; the Environmental Protection Agency; the Transport and Harbours Department; and the Central Housing and Planning Authority.
This manual is anticipated to provide fitting and practical guidance for the implementation of methods and techniques for coastal engineering projects in Guyana.
Some of the projects that have been catered for are: the prevention of the erosion of oceanic, estuarine, and recessed coasts; coastal flooding; and the heavy damage from wave attacks to valuable coastal commercial, urban, and tourist communities of Guyana.
The document also underlines four areas: integrated planning for sea and river defence works in Guyana; the physical site conditions and data collection issues; and natural flood protection systems along Guyana’s oceanic coast and river banks; and their relevance to the shore zone management process.
Meanwhile, the Government continues to make strides towards developing its capacity of protecting the country against rising sea levels which Guyana has fallen victim to as a result of being below sea level.
Thus far, the Administration has been able to craft an Integrated Zone Management Process and is working on drafting a new Sector Policy and Strategy, both of which will aid the country in its defence of rising sea levels.
According to GINA, Guyana and the EU are currently working to develop a Sea and River Defence programme. This will fall under the 11th European Development Fund (EDF) which could see the country receiving more than $7 billion to support the sector.