Wednesday, June 7, 2023

Guyana plans to establish an international center for biodiversity research

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As part of its landmark Low Carbon Development Strategy (LCDS), new oil producer Guyana plans to establish an international center for biodiversity research.

The center will work with local and international partners, including the University of Guyana, to understand the country’s rich living natural assets. Through these partnerships, the center will connect research work at national and local levels and provide networking facilitation.

To get the very best minds working with this center, the government said it has done well to market the idea overseas. President Dr. Mohamed Irfaan Ali told the Harvard Business School about the plan for the center in 2021. He said the school’s network of universities and research organisations should be tapped to participate in this venture.

“My government is keen to work with the international community… [including in] applied research and development, as part of the LCDS 2030,” Dr. Ali had said. “We are seeking partnerships with universities and research organisations to make this a cutting-edge center of excellence with focus on ecosystem services, forests, biodiversity, watershed.”

Under LCDS 2030, Guyana plans to give support to the development of a framework for leveraging its rich biodiversity and natural capital for social, economic, and environmental development.

Already, it has made successes selling forest carbon credits – earning more than US$200 million for conservation of its extensive forest carbon. To complement this, the government is also going to re-animate its mangrove restoration project, focusing resources on the plants that have three to four times the carbon sequestration capacity as regular forests.

The LCDS 2030 states that the estimated value of Guyana’s forests is up to US$54 billion annually.

On top of the sequestering properties of its plants, the forests facilitate thriving ecosystems. Guyana is situated in two of the world’s most biodiverse zones: the Amazon Region and the Guiana Shield.

The Guiana Shield has been recognised as having regional and global significance related to biodiversity. Guyana’s landscape, which includes forests, savannahs, rivers, and wetlands contribute to the flourishing of these ecosystems.

The government considers biodiversity data and documentation to be vital to understanding all these assets.

This and other developments are expected to roll out after the Parliament of Guyana debates and ratifies the LCDS 2030.

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