Planning for zonation and managing human activities in priority areas is crucial to protecting and sustainably using marine and coastal resources. Needs Assessment which informed training workshops for stakeholders.
Linked to the marine environment, WWF-Guianas has been furthering its work in collaboration with project partners and stakeholders to ensure that sound frameworks and programmes are in place for Environmental and Social Impact Assessment (ESIA), as it relates to offshore oil and gas activities.
The recent discovery of oil and gas in commercial quantities offshore Guyana will undoubtedly be the catalyst for unprecedented new and large-scale projects in all sectors of the country, which will transform the nation’s socioeconomic and environmental landscape. This world class oil discovery and highly viable prospects for the future have created the need to develop robust and requisite tools to regulate and manage the environmental impacts of the oil sector.
With co-funding from SRJS, WWF-Guianas supported the Environmental Protection Agency – the entity mandated to ensure environmental guidelines are in place for the oil and gas sector- to update the Guidelines of Offshore Petroleum Production and Exploration in 2017.
The redrafting of Offshore Oil and Gas Guidelines commenced in 2016 and was led by the EPA. In 2017, the EPA approached WWF-Guianas to support their preparation of the revision and updating of the Offshore Petroleum Exploration and Production guidelines using and building on the earlier draft and in consultation with key governmental and non-governmental stakeholders. The guidelines focused on the upstream segment of the industry – exploration and extraction of crude oil and gas from reservoirs to the surface.
The guidelines served as a guide for project developers and contractors and as a basis for citizens’ involvement which is critical to the protection of the environment. It is of key importance to the success of the work of the EPA in the oil and gas sector. While these guidelines are highly relevant, it is intended that it will be subjected to periodic reviews and revisions to include new and emerging aspects pertinent to environmental management and regulation of the sector.
While the redrafted guidelines were completed and published in April 2021, the EPA subsequently retracted the redrafted version and reverted to the previous version on the grounds that wider consultations were necessary.