British High Commissioner lauds LCDS as a model of what is possible – at Queen’s birth anniversary reception

Georgetown, GINA, June 12, 2013

Guyana’s revolutionary Low Carbon Development Strategy (LCDS) was this evening lauded by British High Commissioner to Guyana Andrew Ayre who described it as a definitive model of what is possible in a densely forested developing country.

The strategy which seeks to transform the country’s economy on a pathway to sustainable development has identified hydropower, a biodiversity research centre, Amerindian community development and Information Communication Technology (ICT) among the priorities to be buttressed in the economy.

President Donald Ramotar, British High Commissioner to Guyana Andrew Ayre, Prime Minister Samuel Hinds, Foreign Affairs Minister Carolyn Rodrigues-Birkett and First Lady Deolatchmee Ramotar toast to the Queen’s good health

The strategy pioneered by former President Bharrat Jagdeo who was named Times Magazine’s Hero of the Environment and awarded the 2010 Champion of the Earth, is the country’s model for tackling climate change.

The phenomenon is one where Guyana and the United Kingdom share similar positions, particularly as it relates to addressing manmade causes like greenhouse gas emissions and deforestation.

President Donald Ramotar and British High Commissioner Andrew Ayre cut the symbolic birthday cake as Prime Minister Samuel Hinds, Foreign Affairs Minister Carolyn Rodrigues-Birkett and First Lady Deolatchmee Ramotar look on

“I hope that a legally binding post -Kyoto agreement on greenhouse gas emissions can be reached soon,” High Commissioner Ayre said at a reception at his Bel Air Gardens residence on the occasion of the 87th birth anniversary of Queen Elizabeth II.

The occasion was marked with a toast by President Donald Ramotar, First Lady Deolatchmee Ramotar, Prime Minister Samuel Hinds and Minister of Foreign Affairs Carolyn Rodrigues-Birkett in the presence of other dignitaries who attended.

President Donald Ramotar writes a congratulatory birthday note for Her Majesty, the Queen as British High Commissioner Andrew Ayre looks on approvingly

Guyana has gained admiration from the British, and the rest of the world for proving that it is possible for developed and developing countries to establish partnerships that promote funding for sustainable development practices.

A model forest carbon services agreement between the Government of Guyana and the Kingdom of Norway has to date seen emoluments to the tune of $115M channelled to Guyana through a Guyana REDD+ Investment Fund (GRIF).

A section of the gathering at the Queen’s Birthday observance at the British High Commissioner’s residence

It follows a historic Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) signed between Jagdeo and former Norwegian Minister of Environment and International Development Erik Solheim in 2009 for forest based remuneration of US$250M  up to 2015. The United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) has been an implementing partner in aspects of the GRIF funds dedicated to Community Development Programmes (CDPs) designed and approved in Amerindian communities.

President Ramotar in his remarks this evening, said Guyana will continue to play an integral role in the REDD+ partnership that “provides for the establishment of a global initiative by which countries can be incentivised for reducing emissions through avoided deforestation.”

“We have no doubt that the Guyana REDD+ model can be a model that could be adopted by other countries in this pursuit. Guyana looks forward to partnering with the United Kingdom in achieving the goals to reduce harmful emissions and stop deforestation,” President Ramotar said.

Support from the UK has been pledged to the efforts to reduce the threat to transnational crimes, which take the form of drugs and arms, trafficking in persons or money laundering, and, defending the country’s territorial integrity from threats, High Commissioner Ayre said.

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