Department of Environment hosts awareness workshop on RIO Conventions

DPI, GUYANA, Thursday, June 28, 2018

The Department of Environment (DOE) today hosted a national awareness workshop to update stakeholders on its project dubbed “Strengthening Technical Capacities to Mainstream and Monitor Rio Convention Implementation through Policy Coordination.”

The event was hosted at the Ramada Princess Hotel, Providence.

The four-year project (2016-2020) seeks to build capacity for mainstreaming and monitoring the three RIO Conventions, which include the Convention on Biological Diversity (CBD), the United Nations Convention to Combat Desertification (UNCCD), and the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC).

Head of DOE, Ndibi Schwiers said the project also aims to develop awareness of global environment values and importantly, to update the 2009 National Capacity Self-Assessment Study.

Thus far, several technical and capacity building training programmes were implemented for ministries, the private sector, media and civil society.

Presently, there is an ongoing awareness programme, which has to date brought together over 700 stakeholders to assist in the process of combining the three conventions into their sector plans, programmes and policies.

According to the Schwiers, “these stakeholders were able to share with us some of the initiatives they have undertaken in the mainstreaming process …for example government officials are involved in preparing national communication plans.”

The private sector agencies, she informed, are also involved in initiatives targeting recycling and better waste management.

The department has developed a “high-value” sector plan that incorporates the three RIO conventions into the Forestry Sector Plan.

Another aspect of the project involves the training of personnel in the Ministry of Agriculture, Protected Areas Commission, the Guyana Geology and Mines Commission, among others.

These steps, the DOE head noted, will ensure that Guyana meets its obligations under the three conventions, as the country works towards achieving a “Green State.”

She added that lack of information on the financial costs of environmental activities posed a major challenge to the project’s implementation, as such, it is recommended that environmental audits be conducted regularly.

The project is being funded by the Government of Guyana, the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) and the Global Environmental Facility (GEF).

By: Stacy Carmichael.