OCC working on standardising national greenhouse gas reporting- Country should no longer have to recruit experts – Head OCC

  • Capacity building part of UNFCCC requirement

DPI, GUYANA, Saturday, June 2, 2018

Head, Office of Climate Change (OCC), Janelle Christian says the Department will be focusing heavily on building national capacity through knowledge sharing between international consultants and local personnel.

Christian explained recently that under the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) countries are required to submit national communications reports of which an important component is the greenhouse gas inventory.

Head, Office of Climate Change, Janelle Christian

As part of this process, international consultants visit Guyana to conduct the vulnerability assessments and complete the greenhouse gas inventory.

The greenhouse gas consultants are expected here in July and according to Christian, this time around, the OCC will be paying attention to the capacity building of technical persons across various sectors, through their interaction with these experts.

“To understand the methodology that they use, so that when the time comes for us to report again we are not starting from scratch,” she noted.

Guyana is in the process of submitting its third national communications report and the OCC head said that when the first two were submitted there was limited institutional knowledge.

Both reports were completed by external parties, “we want to get to a point where at least from one of the sectors we can have national experts prepare those reports,” she emphasised.

The key sectors in Guyana in relation to reporting on greenhouse gas emissions are energy, forestry and to a lesser extent, agriculture.

Christian said the challenge has been data gaps, therefore the OCC is looking to establish the framework for the institutionalising of the country’s greenhouse gas reporting.

Capacity building is another expectation under the UNFCCC, she pointed out, “so we should not find ourselves during the next reporting cycle, having to recruit a full team of experts to do this work.”

Under the Framework, provision is made for training of which three local technical staff, one from the Guyana Lands and Surveys Commission (GLSC) recently benefitted.

Land degradation and agriculture contribute to greenhouse gas emissions.

By Stacy Carmichael

Editor’s Note: The United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) is an international environmental treaty adopted on 9 May 1992 and opened for signature at the Earth Summit in Rio de Janeiro from 3 to 14 June 1992. It then entered into force on 21 March 1994, after a sufficient number of countries had ratified it.

The UNFCCC’s objective is to “stabilise greenhouse gas concentrations in the atmosphere at a level that would prevent dangerous anthropogenic (environmental pollution) interference with the climate system”.

Greenhouse Gases: Gases that trap heat in the atmosphere are called greenhouse gases. The primary greenhouse gases in Earth’s atmosphere are water vapor, carbon dioxide, methane, nitrous oxide, and ozone.