Guyana, UK sign agreement to share hydrographic information

DPI, Guyana, Thursday, November 15, 2018

The United Kingdom’s (UK) Hydrographic Office and Guyana’s Maritime Administration Department (MARAD) signed a Data Release Statement that will allow the two countries to share hydrographic information.

The agreement was signed this evening between National Hydrographer of the UK Hydrographic Office, Rear Admiral Tim Lowe and Director General of the Maritime Administration Department, Claudette Rogers. The signing was done at a reception hosted at the residence of the British High Commissioner to Guyana, H.E. Greg Quinn.

The signing forms part of the Commonwealth Marine Economies Programme which enables safe and sustainable marine economies across Commonwealth Small Island Developing States (SIDS).

Rear Admiral Lowe explained that as part of the marine economies programme, the UK Hydrographic Office has been seeking to improve its understanding of the seabed and improve the maritime environment, making it safer and more effective.

The programme, over the past year, has collected a very rich and extensive data set in the Demerara River, approaches to Georgetown and the Essequibo approaches. Rear Admiral Lowe explained, “it will enable us to update some of the chartings for the approaches to the main ports here in Georgetown and by April of next year, three new metric charts will be available… Hopefully, laying the groundwork for future marine and maritime development and longtime prosperity.”

Director-General Rogers expressed gratitude to the UK Government for such a timely initiative and for playing such a significant role in hydrographic surveys.

Rogers said that under the Commonwealth Marine Economies Programme, Guyana was able to access more than $229M (US1.1M) for consultation on hydrographic surveying on seabed mapping in the Demerara River to Grove, East Bank Demerara. This project began in October 2017 and ended in February 2018.

The Director-General added that the outcome of the project will yield the availability of updated nautical maps and charts to ships before they enter the port. This modern technique replaces the traditional methods (led line techniques) used.  In addition, vessel traffic is expected to increase due to the availability of updated hydro data.

The Commonwealth Marine Economies (CME) Programme was announced by the British Prime Minister in 2015 and subsequently launched in 2016. This UK government programme aims to support the marine economies (also referred to as blue economies) of 17 Commonwealth Small Island Developing States (SIDS). It aims to support them in identifying the potential of and developing, their marine economies in a sustainable, resilient, and integrated way.

Synieka Thorne

Images: Tejpaul Bridgemohan


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