In the summer of 2019, Guyana suffered their usual high spring tides. But this time, the country lacked the necessary shore defenses provided by the mangroves on the mud flats. The total area of mangroves has been declining for decades, sometimes due to natural habitat change, but also due to human interaction, including wood harvesting, land usage and development.
The high tides breached the meagre defenses and poured across the highway into unprotected agricultural lands of rice, vegetables and livestock, inundating the land with salt water.
Additionally, Guyana has had over 9 billion barrels of resources discovered by a group of Integrated Oil Companies (IOCs) offshore. Production began in November 2019 and will continue to increase over the coming years as at least six new developments come onstream. These developments will emit very large quantities of GHGs, with averages of over 1.2 million tonnes of CO2 equivalent (tCO2e) for each development EVERY YEAR for the next 20 to 25 years.
Identify suitable locations and communities that will support mangrove conservation and restoration projects. By working with the local communities to empower them through participation in the projects, EnPath will be able to help with shore defenses, provide community development through revenue sharing, and offset the very large GHG emissions by the offshore oil production.
Mangrove restoration projects have been completed in Guyana before with varying degrees of success. EnPath must identify the local partners in order to have sustainable projects that benefit the local communities.
The government framework for such projects is sufficient for the logistics of these types of projects. However, carbon credit verification hasn’t been completed in very many mangrove projects around the world and will be a challenge as it requires time for analysis and audit.
EnPath is identifying suitable mangrove conservation and restoration projects in order to work with local partners and regulators so that the project will be “carbon verified.”
In 1990, it was estimated that there were 91,000 hectares of mangroves in Guyana
By 2009, that figure stood at 23,000 hectares – a loss of 75%