President Irfaan Ali has announced that his government plans to create a National Marine Strategy to promote the sustainable use of Guyana’s marine space.
The Head of State made this announcement during his keynote address at the American Caribbean Maritime Foundation (ACMF) Fifth Annual Gala and Anchor Awards ceremony held on Friday evening at the Coral Ridge Yacht Club in Fort Lauderdale, Florida.
He said that “Guyana, with the support of the government of the UK under the Commonwealth Marine Economy Programme, has implemented a plan for the sustainable use of the marine space. Under this plan, the government will create and devise a National Marine Strategy that will be country-specific and in keeping with our Low Carbon Development Strategy.”
As the government prepares for these opportunities, the President noted that training would be diversified to other skill areas, including coastal engineering, naval architecture, marine service port engineering, port planning and development, marine pollution prevention, and fisheries management, among others.
He assured that the human resource capacity of the country will be diversified beyond the demands of the oil and gas sector and will be engineered to support the Caribbean Region in building its “first world, first-class human resource capacity, and capability.”
The work of ACMF was lauded, and the foundation was applauded for its efforts in strengthening the region’s human resources capacity through the provision of scholarships, grants, and other forms of support for maritime training and education.
This, the President said, will allow the region to develop a corps of maritime professionals and specialists that will ensure the proper regulation and management of the Caribbean’s maritime resources.
He pointed to the importance of the Caribbean’s marine space, which forms an essential link between South America and markets in North America.
He continued that ports in Jamaica and the Bahamas serve as important transshipment points for the movement of goods through the region to external markets.
“In the case of Guyana, we will eventually have our own deep-water harbour and become a major shipping gateway.”
President Ali stressed that the sector must be modernised to allow the region to seize the opportunities for global trade and that of the ‘blue economy.’
On this note, the President said the shipping industry has a key role in ensuring the recovery from the impact of the Covid-19 pandemic and the supply chain crisis.
To achieve this, he said regional governments must find common solutions with the sector through dialogue.
A few weeks back, Shadow Minister of Foreign Affairs Amanza Walton-Desir called on the government to implement a master plan to guide the development of our marine space, especially in light of the emerging oil and gas sector.
Her comments came in light of the accident at the Demerara Harbour Bridge, which had rendered it inoperable for several days.