Oil development data could help fuel Guyana eco-tourism

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A wealth of data collected during the Environmental Impact Assessment (EIA) study for ExxonMobil’s third proposed offshore development in Guyana could help boost the South American country’s reputation as a prime bird-watching destination.

Recently, OilNOW published an article that spoke to the discovery of new bird species in the country that were not previously recorded. And, the findings were quite interesting. In the EIA report, it is stated that the survey data on birds that were conducted over the course of two years across 117 sites in Regions One to Six, showed that 230 species of birds were documented. This reflects the addition of 22 species, based on what was previously known.

In the EIA report, it is stated that the survey data on birds that were conducted over the course of two years across 117 sites in Regions One to Six, showed that 230 species of birds were documented. This reflects the addition of 22 species, based on what was previously known. According to the Assessment, “Coastal sites accounted for 212 species and island sites accounted for 140 species, with 121 species found at both coastal and island sites. It continued to point out that many of the species recorded in the Coastal area during the study were newly documented in that area.

Mitra Ramkumar, the President of The Tourism and Hospitality Association of Guyana (THAG), says that this information can be used to further boost the country’s reputation as a bird watching destination. He reminded, “Guyana is now the number one eco-tourism destination. We would have gotten this from Green Destinations in Berlin, Germany. Birds, even marine life, form part of our tourism product and the rainforest. It is the entire ecosystem and biodiversity that makes Guyana rich and make it the number one eco-tourism destination.”

Ramkumar said birding is a major attraction in the ecotourism industry and has been playing a key role in bringing visitors to the country.

“Birding is one of the attractions, that is what attract people to come to Guyana. So, in terms of new species added, when someone decides where they will go for birding—and they do the same thing for fish—they will check to see what are the ones that they see already and then they look at the other birding list and if they see that there’s a bird that they never saw, then they will come to your destination to see that bird,” the THAG President explained.

Guyana recently received the Latin American Travel Association’s (LATA’s) “Best in Sustainable Tourism” award. The country was awarded during LATA’s “Experience Latin America” conference held in the UK.