The Republic of Guyana lies in the north-east of South America, north of the equator. It is bordered by Suriname on the east, Brazil on the south and Venezuela on the west, and to the north and east, extends to the North Atlantic Ocean.
The rainy seasons are November-January and April-July with an average rainfall of 2,350 mm per year in the coastal region; the dry season runs from September to May. Inland rainfall averages 1,520mm per annum. North-east trade winds moderate coastal temperatures.
Guyana’s tropical rain forest, covering 86% of the land area, is among the most ecologically valuable and best preserved in the world. The environment is an issue of great importance for Guyana.
Forestry development activities are expanding at a fast rate due to the country’s huge potential and the availability of a wide variety of precious woods which are in high demand in the overseas market. The government is committed to a responsible and sustainable development of its forestry resources through astute management. Guyana is a member of the Treaty of Amazonian Cooperation which encourages the subscribers to carry out a rational exploitation of the Region in co-ordination with the other seven South American countries. Moreover, Guyana took a lead role at the Earth Summit on Environment held in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil in June 1991, and endorsed the need to promote the process of sustainable development
IWOKRAMA RAINFOREST PROGRAMME
The Government in 1989 set aside an area of 360,000 hectares for the Iwokrama Rainforest Programme, under the auspices of the Commonwealth to demonstrate the sustainable management of tropical forests and the conservation and utilisation of biological diversity for the benefit of the international community. The Programme for Sustainable Tropical Forestry (PSTF) includes:
i A wilderness preserve to provide opportunities for research in bio-diversity and ecosystems
ii The sustainable utilisation of the resources to yield economic benefits for Guyana from wood and other products, mining, eco-tourism etc.
iii An International Centre for Research and Training for the sustainable management of tropical forests.
There are more than 6,100 species of plant, 1,000 species of tree, 450 types of bird, 400 species of fish, 120 species of amphibian and 180 species of mammal recorded to date.
The tapir is the largest land mammal; cats include the jaguar and ocelot. Monkeys and deer are the most abundant species and the caiman is the largest freshwater animal. The giant anaconda or water boa is also found in the rivers. The wealth of plant, animal, and micro-organism species include many so far unrecorded, whose properties are unknown to science. Guyana is also home to the large Harpy-Eagle.
Guyana’s country code is 592, followed by a seven digit number for all areas of the country. Direct dialling is available from Guyana to any country in the world. The Guyana Telephone and Telegraph Company Office in Georgetown has public facilities for overseas calls. Local Internet Service providers (15%) offer a walk-in Internet service. The country has 100% digital switching and a full range of value-added customer services such as voicemail. Local telephone cards are available.
Guyana’s international airport, named after the late President Dr Cheddi Jagan, is located at Timehri, 25 miles/40km south of Georgetown. There is a suburban aerodrome at Ogle which is currently being upgraded for internal flights and flights from the Caribbean. Large towns and many mining companies have airports or land strips.
There are excellent roads along the coast serving various points of the country, including the hinterlands. The completion of the Brazil/Guyana road is expected to stimulate traffic/trade between the two countries.
There are some 1,600 km of navigable river, 1,00km of which are in areas of some-economic activity. Passengers and cargo vessels go up the Demerara, Essequibo and Berbice Rivers, and also along the coast between the Rivers. Apart from the Demerara, which has a road bridge, the other major rivers have to be crossed by ferries.
Georgetown and New Amsterdam are the main ports.
Guyana is divided into three counties Demerara, Essequibo and Berbice with ten Administrative Regions :
1 Barima – Waini
2 Pomeroon – Supenaam
3 Essequibo Islands – West Demerara
4 Demerara – Mahaica
5 Mahaica – Berbice
6 East Berbice – Corentyne
7 Cuyuni – Mazaruni
8 Potaro – Siparuni
9 Upper Takutu – Upper Essequibo
10 Upper Demerara – Berbice