Bartica residents engaged in consultation, awareness sessions on ‘green’ development
Georgetown, Guyana – (September 9, 2016) Presidential Advisor on the Environment, Rear Admiral (rtd) Gary Best, earlier this week, led a joint team comprising officials from the Ministries of the Presidency and Communities in a visit to Bartica, Cuyuni-Mazaruni (Region Seven) to conduct awareness and consultation sessions on the greening of the town. The team engaged with the Chairman and Councillors of the Regional Democratic Council (RDC).
Mr. Best pointed out that this outreach is a continuation of consultations with Barticians to ensure the finalising of the ‘Green Bartica’ plan. Further awareness and consultation sessions will be conducted with key stakeholders of the community over the next three months, including, but not limited to, the private sector, church groups, youth groups, teachers, students, government employees and non-government organisations.
He explained to the gathering that greening Bartica should be seen as the first key activity of a green economy for Guyana as announced by President David Granger. The Presidential Advisor informed that the Head of State has already articulated the concept of a green economy for Guyana when he stated that, “We see a ‘green economy’ as one that sustains economic prosperity, environmental security and social well-being.”
In explaining the President’s concept, the Councillors were told that a green economy for Guyana means building an economy that not only improves social well-being and reduces inequality of all our peoples, but also one that reduces environmental risks and ecological scarcities. In the furtherance of the concept of a green economy, the Government of Guyana will use public, private and international investment funds to drive green jobs and growth, which in turn, will promote clean energy, reduce carbon emissions and pollution and prevent the loss of biodiversity and ecosystem services.
Contrasting Guyana’s green economy concept and the Low Carbon Development Strategy (LCDS) touted by the previous administration, Advisor Best said that though commendable, the strategy only represents a single solution to combat climate change and is based on payment for forest and ecosystem services by sequestering carbon within the forest sector. However, Guyana’s green economy pathway is more expansive and goes beyond carbon abatement through use of our forest resources.
He explained that Guyana’s concept of a green economy targets carbon reductions across all sectors, which includes agriculture, fisheries, water, forestry, waste, manufacturing, transport, building, construction, tourism, among others. Consequently, Guyana’s green economy pathway represents a comprehensive climate change solution for Guyana and the world.
In discussing the greening of Bartica, the gathering was updated on the status of the draft ‘Green Bartica’ Plan and provided additional recommendations, which the joint team intends to include in the document. Rear Admiral Best advised that, in addition to consultations with Barticians, the draft plan benefited from consultations with staff from Government Ministries, in particular, the Ministries of Communities, Public Infrastructure and the Minister of Governance.
Highlights of key projects discussed for Bartica were presented to the RDC. These included a new landfill site for waste disposal, alternative energy supply for Bartica, capacity building for the green initiative, restoration of public spaces, a new government complex, a new commercial area, solar powered lighting for public buildings, tree lined streets and the construction of a modern stelling with a boardwalk for community recreation and tourist activities.
As part of awareness activities, the team also installed two 24ft x 12ft billboards and organised street theatre events, which were conducted by Merundoi. To complement this awareness exercise, Public Service Advertisements (PSA) titled “Imagine Bartica” will begin airing on Tarzee Television Station in Bartica as well as on radio and television stations around the country.