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COP28: Guyana argues that payments to save animals, plants in its forests are also needed

When a group of researchers stumbled upon an “exuberantly- coloured snake” in Warapoka in July, 2022, they knew what it was, but it was the first time they, or anyone else, had seen it in Guyana.

What Ignazio Avella, Charlotte Lorand, André Surendre and Ronaldo Boyal, just 16, discovered was a reddish snake with black stripes on its dorsum. The belly was almost uniformly orange with very few black spots.

The team, quite familiar with snakes, believed it was a Erythrolamprus dorsocarallinus, a snake found in several localities in Venezuela, Bolivia, Colombia, Peru and the western Brazil Amazonia but never before in Guyana.

“To our knowledge, this is the first report of E. dorsocorallinus from Guyana, thus representing an addition to the faunal list of this country,” they are quoted in the Captive and Field Herpetology Journal as saying.

In other parts of the country, but particularly in the Amazonian forests of Guyana, new plants and animal species are still being discovered. In the last few years, new frogs, other snakes, tarantulas and hibiscus flowers were found in the country.

Finds like these are exactly why Guyana believes there should be some value attached to the biodiversity (plants and animals), both known and unknown, within its forests.

About 85% of the country’s landmass is covered in pristine forests. That’s about 18.5 million hectares of forests that help to trap about 19.5 billion tonnes of carbon dioxide equivalent, the measure for harmful greenhouse gas emissions that contributes to the climate crisis.

And though the country is calling for forest-saving funds, through its new jurisdictional (or national coverage) carbon credits venture that falls under its Low Carbon Development Strategy (LCDS), it believes that it should also get paid to continue protecting the biodiversity found in those forests and for further research to find what hasn’t been found yet.

Continue reading this article on News Room.


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