National Climate Change Committee hosts first Workshop

DPI, Guyana, Thursday, August 16, 2018

The recently re-established National Climate Change Committee (NCCC) earlier today hosted its first capacity building workshop in collaboration with the Food and Agriculture Organisation (FAO).

Among the agenda items were the genesis of the United Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCC) and climate change; structure and organisation of the UNFCCC; understanding the negotiation process; thematic areas of importance for SIDS [Small Island Developing States]and LDCs [Least Developed Countries] with special focus on Guyana; establishing National priorities and National Determine Contributions (NDC).

In brief remarks, representative of the FAO, Reuben Robertson said as a specialised agency of the UN, the NCCC is committed to assisting countries in the development and implementation of climate change and disaster risk management responses at the policy, institution, sector and community levels all aimed at building resilience eradicating poverty and zeroing hunger.

Toward this end, Robertson said, “FAO has been working with countries to better understand climate change and its impacts and moreover to assist in the realisation of the objectives explicitly expressed in the nationally determined contributions. FAO’s work through partnership for achieving the goals is very significant because FAO recognises that zeroing hunger, eradicating poverty requires smart and effective partnership and therefore Sustainable Development Goals numbers one and two – eradicating poverty zeroing hunger really require all-hands-on-deck be it the private sector, public sector, civil society the community and gender with the whole focus on women and youth.”

According to the FAO representative, the organisation is aware of the impact of climate change and, therefore, has focused on sustainable management of natural resources, climate change and building resilience through strategic objectives, regional initiatives and country priority frameworks.

As it relates to Guyana, Robertson said the organisation currently has two projects ongoing, estimated at about US$300 000 where they are mainstreaming disaster risk management in the agri-sector. “We are happy to say that we are in about seven to eight communities throughout Guyana where we are building resilience among farmers and the communities through best practices,” Robertson explained.

He added that a number of local communities are directly impacted by the collaborative work between the FAO and local stakeholders.

“Some of the communities that are directly impacted include Now or Never, Fyrish, D’Edward, Lovely Lass, Number 4, Paruima, Cato and Woweta. So, we are not just speaking about the work that FAO has done in respect of helping the country to develop a disaster risk management plan, but we are helping to roll out these plans so that we can have the necessary impact at the community level,” Robertson said.

According to the Head of the Office of Climate Change (OCC), Janelle Christian, climate change is not just an environmental management issue. Christian said it is an economic and development issue also and requires action across all sectors.  “… it involves and needs the voice of women so we can address the issues of gender, it needs the representation of youths, it needs the representation and voice of those who operate within the social sector,” she said.

The Office of Climate Change (OCC) is the governmental agency responsible for leading the development and implementation of national policies and actions for ‘climate change mainstreaming’ and the coordination of efforts to mitigate and adapt to climate change. Originally conceived primarily to support the preparation and implementation of the Low Carbon Development Strategy in 2009 the office is expanding its role to lead Guyana´s national climate change efforts.

The OCC is the National Focal Point for climate change and to the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) and therefore has a core responsibility to co-ordinate Guyana’s international engagements with the UNFCCC and other climate change processes.

The NCC existed before the Office of Climate Change which was established around 2009 and served the Unit responsible for Climate Change with the Ministry of Agriculture. It constituted several stakeholders and sectors which shaped decisions relating to climate change in Guyana.

Kidackie Amsterdam

Images: Jules Gibson

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