WWF launches campaign website for freshwater protection in Guyana

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WWF-Guianas today launched its ‘sweet water’ campaign for freshwater protection in Guyana. The campaign website, sweetwater.gy, explains the urgent need for freshwater protection.

It also offers persons the opportunity to support the campaign by making a virtual pledge in support of using smart approaches to infrastructural, economic or agricultural development, while protecting nature.

The campaign is supported by its partner organisations in Guyana: South Rupununi District Council (SRDC) and Policy Forum Guyana.

The availability, quality and flow of freshwater is becoming increasingly unpredictable as it is threatened by climate change and poorly planned developmental activities. The sweet water campaign is aimed at the protection of freshwater in Guyana and Suriname under the theme ‘Together for Clean Rivers’.

The main component of the campaign focuses on bringing awareness to the importance of taking a ‘building with nature’ approach and developing nature-based solutions to infrastructural development around our critical freshwater ecosystems, particularly in the Rupununi region.

Notably, it also highlights the long-term benefits to humans and environment if nature-based solutions to development are embraced.

“The intention is to use the knowledge that we gather to help inform how and where development progresses, with the interest to avoid sensitive areas and areas where it does not make sense to invest money in if every wet season it is expected to flood,” said Aiesha Williams, WWF-Guianas Country Manager, Guyana.

The SRDC’s component of the campaign focuses on the four important rivers ecosystems in the South Rupununi by advocating for the protection of the headwaters of the South Rupununi at the national level and to raise awareness of the importance of headwaters at the local and national level.

The work of Policy Forum within the campaign concentrates on combatting river pollution and aims to increase awareness to develop a realistic sense of the scope of the task of rehabilitating polluted rivers.

In the final stages of the awareness campaign, in December, WWF will engage government and other key stakeholders in high-level discussions with the aim of securing a commitment to developing new policies and regulations towards the protection and maintenance of sensitive areas where water flows.

This will present the opportunity to have government and other players reassess current approaches to industrial and agricultural activities, roads construction in remote areas, and housing development along rivers and in flood plains.