CAPAM 2018: Structuring the public service towards being climate proactive

─ 12th Biennial Conference will be hosted in Guyana from October 22-24 under the theme, “Transforming the Public Sector for Climate Governance”

DPI, Guyana, Tuesday, October 2, 2018

The Commonwealth Association of Public Administration and Management (CAPAM) 12th Biennial Conference will be hosted in Guyana from October 22-24 at the Guyana Marriott Hotel, under the theme, “Transforming the Public Sector for Climate Governance”. The Congress will focus on three main conference themes, confronting the duality of climate action and economic growth; structuring the public service towards being climate proactive and managing national climate priorities within a global context.

According to CAPAM, many public sectors have been organised, intentionally or not, so that their departments operate in silos with specific mandates and priorities. At times, these priorities can be conflicting, resulting in government sectors operating at cross-purposes.

The first sub-theme will focus on structuring the public sector so that it is increasingly aware of, and coordinated in, being climate proactive.

Confronting the Duality of Climate Action and Economic Growth

In an era where renewable energies are touted in some countries as one path to sustainable living, other nations are newly discovering oil, exploring new methods for its extraction, and mining coal in ever-greater quantities.

In this regard, the conference will place emphasis on policy decisions regarding a country’s approach towards climate action and economic growth, which are ultimately directed at the political level.

The decision to implement these directives rests on governments. In most cases, however, the public service is expected to present analysis and evidence to inform policymaking.

How do public service professionals reflect an increasingly evident interdependence between environmental sustainability and economic well-being? What are the ethical implications? Where have there been successes in influencing this dichotomy?

CAPAM says this sub-theme will focus on the public service’s role in determining a nation’s climate and economic agenda, including its challenges, opportunities and responsibilities.

Structuring the Public Service towards being Climate Proactive

Many public sectors have been organised, intentionally or not, so that their departments operate in silos with specific mandates and priorities. At times, these priorities can be conflicting, resulting in government sectors operating at cross-purposes.

Several questions arise, do examples exist of economic growth and/or climate change experts working across sectors? Is research on climate change, environmental risks, sustainable development, alternative practices and transitional economic growth encouraged, made available and consulted?

Is legislation/regulation changing at an appropriate pace to address the coordination and implementation of environmental policies across programmes? How are departments working together to ensure the preservation and enhancement of the natural environment, as well as the conservation and protection of its natural resources within the framework of striving to improve national prosperity?

This sub-theme will focus on structuring the public sector so that it is increasingly aware of, and coordinated in, being climate proactive.

Managing National Climate Priorities within a Global Context

The third sub-theme will focus on public sector efforts to work within an international community to further their climate priorities while maintaining economic competitiveness with other nations.

Climate issues which are global in nature require a degree of cooperation and understanding among nations for real change to take effect. Many governments are cautious that their efforts at improving the climate will put their country at a competitive disadvantage on the world stage.

At the conference, focus will be placed on answering collectively, the following: Is there now a compelling case and economic imperative to “go green” in government policy? How is that imperative negotiated, enacted and implemented across nations? What are public sectors doing to ensure that their national climate priorities fit within a global context?

Stacy Carmichael.

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