GEORGETOWN, Guyana, Wednesday March 6, 2019 – The year 2021 has been designated for the systematic ban of single-use plastics in Guyana.
This was announced by Minister of State Joseph Harmon, under whose purview the Department of Environment falls, as he addressed a World Wildlife Day Youth Forum.
“The work has already begun on sensitizing our population to the fact that 2021 is the date we have identified for a ban on single-use plastics,” he said.
“And so it is important that we get ourselves ready for that, and minimize the use of single-use plastics.”
As much as 40 per cent of the world’s oceans are affected by pollution, with an estimated eight million metric tonnes of plastic waste entering those waters annually.
Minister Harmon said this “provides a good opportunity to raise awareness about the vast diversity of marine life globally, its crucial importance to human development and the importance of prudent management of marine resources for future generations.”
This year’s World Wildlife Day theme ‘Life below Water: for People and Planet’ aligns with the United Nations Sustainable Development Goal (SDG) 14 which relates to the conservation of the oceans. This includes the expansion of protected areas for marine biodiversity, intensification of research capacity and increases in ocean science funding which remain critically important to preserve marine resources.
Minister Harmon highlighted that in addition to aligning with SDG 14, the theme also aligns with Objective 3 of Guyana’s Green State Development Strategy (GSDS).
“Objective 3 includes the protection, restoration, and sustainable use of coastal and marine resources is, therefore, aimed at ensuring that Guyana adopts an enhanced program and institute measures to engage in the sustainable use and preservation of our marine and coastal ecosystems,” he noted.