July 2018 new deadline for completion of GSDS – Green conversations ongoing in all regions

DPI, GUYANA, Tuesday, February 20, 2018

The advent of the oil and gas sector will pose additional challenges to the sustainable management of the environment, however, the Green State Development Strategy (GSDS) proposes ways of balancing economic development and prudent environmental management.

National Coordinator of the GSDS’s coordination desk, Eustace Alexander, at a recent media sensitisation seminar, said that “we need the oil and gas. We hope to use these funds to establish the Sovereign Wealth Fund to secure money for our future generations so we are in a dilemma whereby we want to have national development, socio-economic development without compromising the environment.”

Guyana has embarked on this green pathway through previous actions to safeguard the country’s development without negatively impacting the environment and protecting citizens from the impacts of climate change; while promoting social and economic well-being.

These include the signing of the Paris Agreement on Climate Change, the Low Carbon Development Strategy (LCDS), the National Developmental Strategy, Climate Resilience Strategy and the National Adaptation Strategy for Agriculture.

The ‘Green Concept’ Alexander explained, is one that has been adopted by many countries around the world and Guyana is one of those countries. This initiative aims at delivering social and economic development without destroying the environment.

The GSDS is a long-term vision to guide social, economic and environmental development and according to the National Coordinator, “The Green State Development Strategy is not necessarily an environmental strategy. The environment is only one component of the strategy.”

This plan will provide the foundation for an inclusive green economy, improvement of human well-being, reduce environmental risks and minimise economic scarcity.

The objective is to reorient and diversify Guyana’s economy.

Meanwhile, Director of the Department of the Environment (DoE), Ndibi Schwiers in response to questions raised by the media, said the GSDS is also intended to be Guyana’s response to the United Nations (UN) Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs).

“What the Government did, was to work with the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) to have a consultant come in to do what we refer to as a Rapid Integrated Assessment. The assessment was intended to look at our current policy documents and to see how aligned with the elements of the Sustainable Development Goals.”

The Director said the goal of the GSDS, when it is completed, is to help the country better achieve the SDGs.

The revised completion date for the GSDS is July 2018 owing to the fact that the DoE has found that there needs to be more awareness of the green concept, which is being done through Green Conversations with the citizens in the various regions.

She clarified that the green economy is not intended to close down any business or any sector but to look what is being done and examine ways to optimize the use of the natural resources and have those measures implemented.

By: Stacy Carmichael

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