MOU signed for sustainable development, preservation and enhancement of National Parks and Botanical Gardens
October 9, 2023
With the Botanical Gardens as a backdrop, the Protected Areas Commission (PAC), the Tourism and Hospitality Association of Guyana (THAG), and The Guyana Marine Conservation Society (GMCS) signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) today for the sustainable development and ecological preservation of the National Park and the Botanical Gardens.
The partnership promises engagements on conservation, tourism, and community development across the country.
The signing of the MOU signified a formal commitment to preserving and enhancing a third of the Botanical Gardens for environmental protection and further community engagement through its beautification.
Adding their signatures to the agreement were Chairman of the Guyana Marine Conservation Society, Dr. Marie Correia, GMCS, Chairperson of the Tourism and Hospitality Association Ms. Dee George, and Chairman of the Protected Areas Commission, Mr. Robert Persaud.
In his remarks, Mr. Persaud emphasized the importance of involving and including many stakeholders in fulfilling the objectives of the Protected Areas Commission and ensuring the services and facilities are all made available to the people of Guyana.
He reminded that “we have close to 18% of our land mass that is currently under the PAC, and just today, we are exploring how it is that we can expand the Protected Areas of our country, and we have a goal of getting that up to 30%. That is, working with communities working with a range of stakeholders, and having this type of MOU will allow us to move quickly and effectively and inclusively along that goal of expanding and ensuring protected area systems are properly managed and that we engage relevant stake holders”.
Mr. Persaud also appealed to youths, communities and other stakeholders to help expand, educate and promote engagement with others on the ways that Guyana can achieve balance in developing the country’s natural resources and at the same time honour and manage the environment and its resources responsibly.
Under the guidance of the Tourism and Hospitality Association, the MOU emphasizes the maintenance and preservation of the Botanical Gardens and National Park area.
Private stakeholders will be engaged with a special focus on conserving the natural habitat of the birdlife residing in the garden.
The transformative initiative is being led by THAG, with support of the Guyana Tourism Authority (GTA), and the Guyana Wildlife Commission (GWC).
The initiative will see rehabilitative work at the zoo space.
The projects will see improvements of the walkways, the importation of animals for the zoo and the revitalization of the Nature School.
Commissioner at the Protected Areas Commission, Jason K. Fraser noted the importance of wide open spaces for the public’s use and for recreation purposes.
He said “gyms are expensive, and so, what we want to do is set up and that is going to be on track by November, is to setup two outdoor gym areas. You’ve probably seen this on the news especially in China, where you will have an outdoor space and there will be outdoor gym equipment. So similarly, there will be two locations within the National Park, so that apart from coming to the park and doing your cardio and running, you will have a full gym to use, free of cost”.
The new addition could be introduced within the next six months.
The groups believe the partnership holds the promise of more sustainable, vibrant, and eco-friendly nature spaces.