How We Work


© Conservation International photo by Piotr Naskrecki

Protecting coastal ecosystems

Human well-being in the coastal tropics is closely linked to the fate of mangrove and coastal wetlands. In Guyana, almost 90% of the population lives on the coast and are subject to the benefits that healthy mangroves provide. These include improved coastal defenses, health, tourism and fisheries food security.

CI is working with the Governments of Guyana and Suriname and others to maintain the health and longevity of North Brazil Shelf (NBS) mangroves.

We’re mapping the NBS mangroves and learning everything we need to know about them, like what animals and plant life are preserved there, in order to protect them. At the same time, we’re working with others to develop a coordination body across borders so that all affected countries (Guyana, Suriname, French Guiana and Brazil) communicate with one another and make environmentally sound decisions together.

The NBS mangroves are considered among the most extensive, dynamic and structurally complex coastal habitats in South America, housing several species of fauna, including some that are potentially endemic. These mangroves also stabilize the soil against erosion, help protect against flooding, sustain fisheries and ensure coastal water quality. Mangroves in Guyana have an impact on the world because they store carbon which helps to mitigate climate change. But they are vulnerable ecosystems which require informed and coordinated decision making across the Shelf.

Using existing knowledge and sending teams out into the field to study the mangroves first hand, CI is working with local partners to develop a baseline of information that will help us to better conserve and protect these precious ecosystems. At the same time, we’re inviting all the NBS countries to the table to share their experiences and knowledge and decide on the best way forward together.

What we are

Integrated Coastal Zone Management (ICZM) Plan for NBS mangroves

CI is working with local partners to send teams out into the field to study the mangrove habitats. At the same time, we’re researching existing data and consulting communities on their knowledge of these precious ecosystems. We’re analyzing threats to the mangroves and how best to meet these challenges. We’re also listening to local communities on the important role mangroves play in their development and communicating with governments on relevant policies and potential conservation actions we can take collectively.


We are partnering with governments, NGOs and local communities.