Commissioning of the Office of the Guyana Protected Areas System

Commissioning of the Headquarters  of the Guyana Protected Areas System Enlarge image Schomburgk House (© Protected Areas Commission)

Remarks by German Ambassador Stefan Schlüter during the Commission of the Schomburgk House on April 29, 2014.

We have gathered here today to commission the Office of the Guyana Protected Areas System. That the German Ambassador has been invited to preside together with Prime Minister Samuel Hinds over today’s ceremony highlights the trusted  and close partnership our two countries have enjoyed over a long time.

In international fora Germany and Guyana  work closely together to fight and mitigate the effects of climate change. The main focus of Germany’s cooperation programs and projects in the region is also directed towards renewable energy, energy efficiency, adaption to the effects of climate change and the protection of tropical forests.  Numerous projects with CARICOM also include Guyana but in addition to those our two countries have developed a close and sustainable cooperation in the protection of tropical forest.

This programme has started in 2005 and is intended to contribute to the preservation of biodiversity and natural resources in the Guyana Protected Areas System.  This year we are entering into the 3rd phase of the project. The aggregate German commitment amounts to about USD 15 million (3,0  billion GYD) . In recent years, investments for infrastructure like the tourist centre at Kaieteur Falls, grants for small community development projects, support for the development of management plans, demarcation of protected areas and development of the Protected Areas Bill have been financed with German funds. With German support, the coverage of the protected areas system has been increased to 8 % of the national territory. Commissioning of The Headquarters  of the Guyana Protected Areas System Enlarge image Plaque of Schomburgk House (© Protected Areas Commission)

The German government is looking forward to continue its successful participation in the strengthening of the protected areas systems through our financial cooperation. The construction and equipment of  this office is an important step, others will follow like the support of Amerindian villages and  the development and updating of management plans and the demarcation of the protected area “Shell Beach”. We are looking forward  towards further enhancing the effectiveness of the protected areas systems, to support community development projects for sustainable natural resources management and to improve infrastructure, equipment and capacities of other involved sector institutions, like the Environmental Protection Agency and the Guyana Forestry Commission.

I am pleased to announce that as from mid of 2014 the Frankfurt Zoological Society will become involved for at least four years in the management of one protected area, the Kanaku Mountains, as well as in the general activities of the Protected Areas Commission. Their involvement will be directly and independently financed by the FZS Commissiong Headquarters  of the Guyana Protected Areas System Enlarge image Ambassador Stefan Schlüter, Prime Minister Samuel Hinds, Minister of Natural Resources and the Environment Robert Persaud (© Protected Areas Commission)

With its various activities in Guyana as well as in the region Germany is honouring  its international commitments in the context of forest and biodiversity conservation and climate change. Our commitment does not go unnoticed. It therefore gives me special pleasure that the headquarters  of the Guyana Protected Areas System will bear the name of Robert Herrmann Schomburgk, the German explorer, scientist and also diplomat who did literally put Guyana on the map in the 19th century.