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Introduction

Donnette Streete

Director, Frontiers Department with the Ministry of Foreign Affairs

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Donnette Streete

Director, Frontiers Department with the Ministry of Foreign Affairs

“Guyana’s burgeoning oil and gas industry is bringing jobs and wealth into the country – but this fast-growing sector is presenting new challenges to our maritime laws,” says Donnette. “The issue is how to establish a legal framework that protects our precious marine environment but that also enables our fishing, shipping and oil & gas industries to work together safely.”

Every year, Lloyd’s Register Foundation supports three students to study at the IMO International Maritime Law Institute (IMLI). Based in Malta, this globally respected organisation trains officers in maritime law and how to promote safe, secure and environmentally sound shipping practices.

With 13 years’ experience of maritime law behind her, Donnette was chosen to read for a master’s degree in International Maritime Law at IMLI in 2017.

She says that a major offshore oil discovery has changed Guyana’s maritime law landscape forever. “Suddenly, we’re faced with the prospect of many more large ships entering our waters and a big upsurge in demand for tanker anchorages and bunkering facilities,” she explains. “Guyana is a very environmentally aware country with a strong green agenda. How could we maintain that reputation while reaping the benefits of the oil and also helping fishing and shipping to thrive?”

Since graduating with a distinction from IMLI, Donnette has played a key role in a proposal to establish a National Oceans Council in Guyana. In addition, Donnette is proud to have been appointed as Guyana’s lead negotiator for the Intergovernmental Conference on Marine Biodiversity of Areas Beyond National Jurisdiction (BBNJ). “None of this would have been possible without IMLI and LRF,” she adds. “Our seas will be cleaner and safer because of LRF’s support.”

“The course gave me the skills to
protect Guyana’s marine environment
while helping different maritime
industries to co-exist safely”

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