No adverse environmental effects from shore-based project -Minister Edghill

—Gov’t to facilitate development following sound vetting of projects

Minister of Public Works, Hon. Bishop Juan Edghill says the displacement of mangroves at Versailles for a shore-based project will not have any debilitating effects on the environment and residents, since sturdy sea defence structures would be constructed in its place.

Minister Edghill gave this assurance during a press briefing on Monday to address concerns surrounding the project, headed by TriStar Incorporated.

Minister of Public Works, Hon. Bishop Juan Edghill and Minister within the Ministry of Public Works, Hon. Deodat Indar at Monday’s press conference

Minister Edghill said the project’s engineering design depicts a perimeter of sheet piles that, “will be built to mitigate flooding and to protect that property and all the properties at the back of it, near to it or far away from it.”

The Minister said the developer currently has 70 container loads of sheet piles to build sea defence.

“The big issue is not flooding because of the adequacy of the measures, the hard structures to prevent flooding are in place.”

With regard to the removing of mangroves for development works, Minister Edghill said the Ministry’s Sea and River Defence Board vetted a proposal from the contractor and a no-objection was given.

Noting that the “willy nilly” destruction of mangroves is illegal, Minister Edghill said the current displacement must be seen in the wider context of the country’s development.

The Minister said the construction of the Wales Development Authority and other critical projects along the Demerara River may result in similar displacement of mangroves.

We are facilitating and will continue to facilitate developmental projects once it comes in a framework where it is properly regulated, sustainable, where there is no danger to life and livelihood, and where we can see the creation of jobs and this project fits within that framework.”

Red line on chart depicts the site a steel, sheet pile sea defence structure will be built

Minister Edghill was accompanied by Minister within the Ministry of Public Works, Hon. Deodat Indar who underscored the need for shore-based projects to support the growing oil and gas sector. 

Minister Indar told the media that the mangrove displacement will not have an adverse impact on Guyana’s commitments to protect its environment in the face of climate change.

“Guyana still remains a net carbon sink. The mangrove removal down there does not affect our ability… We are a climate leader. We have a whole host of standing forests and in the agreement we have with Norway.”

Both Ministers called on the Parliamentary Opposition and environmental activists to be responsible in their critique and work alongside the Administration as it executes its development agenda.