[www.inewsguyanna.com] – The Global Environment Facility (GEF) approved the use of Guyana’s remaining GEF-STAR 5 allocation (US$880,000) for the execution of a medium-sized project entitled, “Enhancing Biodiversity Protection through Strengthened Monitoring, Enforcement and Uptake of Environmental Regulations in Guyana’s Gold Mining Sector”.
The approval from GEF coincided with the attendance of Minister of Natural Resources and the Environment, Robert Persaud at the 5th Assembly of the Global Environmental Facility in Cancun, Mexico last May.
The Assembly meeting is held every 3-4 years and serves to review and evaluate general policies and the operational structure of the institution inclusive of its 183 member countries.
Minister Persaud took the opportunity at this forum to discuss the environmental challenges in Guyana within the context of sustainable development and other international development goals.
The project’s objective is to strengthen monitoring and implementation of biodiversity-friendly practices in Guyana’s gold mining sector so as to reduce biodiversity loss and maintain ecosystem functionality.
This will be achieved by strengthening EPA’s role in oversight of mining practices, enhancing inter-institutional cooperation, increasing satellite tracking of mining activities and building capacity of field officers in monitoring and enforcement and biodiversity issues.
The project will also integrate biodiversity in vocational training programmes for mining and provide user-friendly material and seminars to enable miners to understand the regulatory framework in place and best practices to improve biodiversity conservation in the gold mining sector.
The three year project will be implemented through the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP), and executed by the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) with guidance from a multi-stakeholder Project Steering Committee.