Guyana’s coastline continues to be prone to erosion, saltwater intrusion and flooding continues to be an issue, resulting in lands which should have been used for farming and other human activities to lose its viability.
And despite Mining, agriculture and forestry, resources historically key to Guyana’s economy, contributing to the overall land degradation, particularly in Regions 1, 4, 7, 8, 9 and 10, the Guyana Lands and Surveys Commission (GLSC) estimates that a total of 0.003 per cent of Guyana’s land is degraded.
The United Nations Convention to Combat Desertification (UNCCD) has defined land degradation as the process whereby the value and productivity of land is reduced as a result of a combination of human- induced and natural processes acting upon the land.
In other words, land degradation is the reduction and loss of the biological and economic productive capacity of the land.
The GLSC posited in a statement that although the level of land degradation in Guyana is extremely low, Guyana continues to implement measures.
“The Guyana Lands and Surveys Commission as the National Focal Point continues to take actions to curb land degradation. In April 2016, Guyana voluntarily opted to undertake the Land Degradation Neutrality Target Setting Programme (LDN TSP) to strengthen the implementation of the UNCCD and improve land management as the world strives to achieve a land degradation neutral world by 2030.”
According to the GLSC, preceding the finalization of the LDN-TSP Report, was the completion of Guyana’s Aligned National Action Plan to Combat Land Degradation.
It was outlined that Guyana has recently commenced the implementation of the US$14.5 million Guyana REDD+ Investment Fund (GRIF) funded project titled “ Sustainable Land Development and Management (SLDM)” that will be mainstreamed into policy, institutional and governance mechanisms to prevent land degradation and restore degraded lands where possible.
The development of Guyana’s first ever, National Land Policy will also address this issue.
The GRIF was established under the former Administration in partnership with Norway to promulgate Guyana’s Low Carbon Development Strategy (LCDS) that would see Norway disbursing millions into the GRIF for forest climate services provided by Guyana.
The GLSC noted that this project will provide considerable benefits to Guyanese and to the country’s green state national development trajectory by strengthening capacity building in the Guyana Lands and Surveys Commission and other key stakeholder agencies.
“As a nation, Guyana, remains committed to achieving land degradation neutrality” said the Commission.