GEORGETOWN, Guyana, Wednesday July 24, 2019 – Guyana has become the first country in the Commonwealth to sign up to the Maritime Economy Plan which aims to develop the country’s potential in the sector.
The government is receiving support from the Commonwealth Maritime Economics Programme in the crafting of the plan.
At the opening ceremony for the consultations, British High Commissioner to Guyana, Greg Quinn commended the government’s forward-thinking.
“I believe this reflects the vision of the government and all its agencies. They are aware of the fact that the future of Guyana must rest in its effective use and conservation of all sectors of the country’s economy,” the High Commissioner said.
“The plan aims to identify sectors of the maritime industries that foster sustainable development and to prepare a tailored action plan to address gaps, overcome obstacles and build capacity to grow those sectors. In the process, it will consider the government’s short, medium and long-term priorities,” he explained.
The diplomat said the plan will be tailored to meet Guyana’s specific needs and priorities. It will also be aligned with Sustainable Development Goal (SDG) #14 – ‘Conserve and sustainably use the oceans, seas and marine resources’.
Commissioner of the Guyana Lands and Surveys Commission (GL&SC), Trevor Benn noted that the plan will develop the potential of Guyana’s marine economy in a sustainable, resilient and integrated way.
He said it also help Guyana tackle some of the challenges it faces in the sector: “Some of which relate to outdated navigation charts that requires urgent attention – high degree of vulnerability to external and economic environmental shocks and climate change, ocean acidification, extreme weather events, pollution, overfishing, loss of habitat, loss of modern hydrographic data all of which I hope with the start of this consultation, we will be able to address.”
The joint work on the development of the Maritime Economy Plan began back in 2016. Stakeholders were drawn from all sectors of the country. Consultants Jonathan McCue and Felipe Stiegler are leading the consultation process.