Guyana strengthening chemical management

―Oil and gas sector among new stakeholders

DPI, Guyana, Tuesday, January 21, 2020

A two-day workshop is being hosted by the Pesticides and Toxic Chemicals Control Board (PTCCB), to review and strengthen Guyana’s management of chemicals and update the list of Persistent Organic Pollutants.

This exercise comes as the country recently received funding from the Global Environment Facility (GEF) to commence a review and update of the National Implementation Plan for Guyana which falls under the Stockholm Convention on Persistent Organic Pollutants. Guyana’s first National Implementation Plan was drafted in 2013.

The $52.3 Million (US $250,000) project is expected to run for two years and will see additional workshops being held.

Hosted at the Cara Lodge Hotel, today’s session is being facilitated by the PTCCB in collaboration with the Basel Convention Regional Centre for Training and Technology Transfer for the Caribbean (BCRC-Caribbean) and the United Nations Environment Programme.

Acting Director of the BCRC-Caribbean, Jewel Batchasingh, noted, “[The purpose of this project] will include the strengthening of the national coordination mechanisms, reviewing and updating the original Persistent Organic Pollutants (POPs)[Guyana] listed in 2013, conducting inventories for new POPs…prioritising and drafting action plans for reducing and phasing out new POPs.”

The importance of the training and inventory workshop was emphasised by Trecia David-Garnath, Registrar of the Pesticides and Toxic Chemicals Control Board

“This initiative is a very good one for Guyana. The International Chemicals Agreement help countries like us to improve on our chemicals and waste management agenda. For a lot of developing countries, chemicals and waste [management] agendas are not usually a significant priority.”

She also expressed her satisfaction with Guyana’s commitment to chemical and waste management. “… there are going to new stakeholders who weren’t there in the initial NIP, and other stakeholders that will come in line, for example, oil and gas is a new one that is factored in because a lot of the chemicals they are going to be imported to will have to be examined.”

Approximately 42 participants from different Ministries and other organisations, including the Guyana Fire Service will be participating in the two-day exercise

Some of the key national stakeholders for this workshop are Environmental Protection Agency, Ministry of Health, Ministry of Communities, Ministry of Public works and Communication, Department of Customs and Trade Administration, University of Guyana and Guyana Power and Light.