Three Guianas focusing on Goldmining in protected areas

PAC-LogoPress Release

Georgetown, Guyana – Wednesday, March 4, 2020

The Protected Areas Commission (PAC) with local and international support continues to enhance its skills and capabilities to manage Guyana’s protected areas. Recently, focus was placed on mining in protected areas.

The focus came in the form of a regional workshop on strategies against the threats from illegal goldmining in the Protected Areas of the Guianas held in French Guiana from Wednesday 12th February to Friday 14th February 2020.

The workshop was attended by technical personnel from Guyana, Suriname and French Guiana. Its aim was to improve the management of protected areas through the sharing of best practices and experiences between stakeholders and communities on strategies to address illegal mining in Protected Areas of the Guianas.

The forum was the third Regional Workshop organized under the RENFORSAP (“Strengthening the Network of Protected Areas in the Guiana Shield and their contributions to sustainable development in respect of local cultures, values and lifestyles”) Project. This project is a multi-stakeholder and transnational approach amongst protected area managers of French Guiana, Suriname and Guyana.

Brief opening remarks were delivered by PAC Commissioner, Denise Fraser on behalf of the Protected Areas Commission, a partner in the project. The Commissioner noted the international significance of the Guiana Shield, its geology, and biological and cultural diversity.  Mrs. Fraser noted that the Workshop brought together a range of persons working in the field with different experiences, strategies, and lessons learnt that could contribute towards developing more effective ways to deal with illegal gold mining in the Protected Areas of the three Guianas. She called on all participants to take part and expect rich and fruitful discussions in the workshop.

PAC Chairperson Raquel Thomas-Caesar also represented the PAC, as well as the Iwokrama International Centre for Rainforest Conservation and Development at the three-day workshop. Further, the team from Guyana included not only the PAC but representatives from the Guyana Geology and Mines Commission (GGMC), the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) and the Core of Wardens, Ministry of Natural Resources, and Conservation International – Guyana.

The completion of the workshop saw the beginning of a synthesis on strategies against the threats from illegal gold mining in the protected areas of the Guianas and the dentification of potential opportunities for cooperation.