Guyana on target to ratifying UNCCD

DPI, GUYANA, Thursday, August 31, 2017

Guyana has advanced its efforts towards achieving Land Degradation Neutrality (LDN) Target Setting Programme (TSP).

At a validation workshop on Thursday at Pegasus Hotel, Georgetown, Commissioner of the Guyana Lands and Survey, Trevor Benn, explained the country has made significant strides towards developing this document.

Commissioner of GLSC Trevor Benn.

“I’m happy to report that Guyana is the only other country in the Caribbean that has been able to bring the process to this stage,” Benn pointed out. The country joins Grenada which was part of the pilot phase of LDN TSP.

The LDN TSP is part of the United Nations Convention to Combat Desertification (UNCCD) of which Guyana is a signatory. The GLSC is the national focal point for the implementation of this convention.

“So this project give us an opportunity to look at the country; to look at the soil statistics of the country and determine where they’re degraded lands, how much of it has been degraded and what steps we need to take to reclaim the healthy soil so that there is a neutral effect in terms of loss of degraded soil,” Benn explained.

There are three indicators which are used to track degradation: land cover, land productivity and soil organic carbon. The GLSC began the voluntary process of establishing a TSP last year to achieve LDN by 2030.

A series of consultations with stakeholders across Guyana has since been completed to help the GLSC understand where problems lie and eventually develop projects to mitigate these.  The LDN TSP document is expected to be submitted to

Stakeholders at the validation workshop.

Cabinet before submission to the United Nations later this year.

“This process that we have been through over the last several months not only will help us to understand the status of our lands but it will help us to be able to plan to make sure those coming behind us…would be able to have the benefits of good land,” Benn said.

Already, it has been found that drought, mining activity and flooding are threats to land degradation in Guyana.  “We know that there is need for improvement in the way we manage our land…we are about to embark on a sustainable land development and management project,” Benn pointed out.

LND is a new initiative intended to halt ongoing loss of healthy land through degradation by creating target for land degradation management, promoting dual-pronged approach measures to avoid or reduce degradation of land. Guyana has “a very low level of degradation”, less than 10 percent, compared to other countries, Benn highlighted

 

By: Tiffny Rhodius

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