OPM hosts climate forum to observe World Press Freedom Day

The Office of the Prime Minister, as part of World Press Freedom Day activities, on Thursday held a climate forum to remind journalists of their important role of disseminating credible and accurate information.

The event was held at the Pegasus Suites and Corporate Centre in Kingston, Georgetown.

Minister within the Office of the Prime Minister with responsibility for Public Affairs, Kwame McCoy delivering opening remarks

In brief opening remarks, Minister within the Office of the Prime Minister with responsibility for Public Affairs, Kwame McCoy underscored that freedom of the press is pivotal in the government’s development strategy.

“It is therefore not accidental that successive PPP/C Governments, including that of His Excellency, Dr Mohamed Irfaan Ali, have forged an enabling environment for the Guyanese media to work freely and to thrive as media practitioners,” the minister said.

This includes numerous opportunities for training and upskilling, such as through the Media and Communications Academy, which was launched in 2022.

This training programme is the first in the region, and forms a critical element in transforming the country’s journalistic landscape.

Minister McCoy added that the programme was the culmination of the government’scommitment to facilitating increased growth opportunities through capacity building for members of the fraternity

Minister of Natural Resources, Vickram Bharrat delivering feature remarks at Climate Forum

Meanwhile, in his remarks, Minister of Natural Resources, Vickram Bharrat highlighted the nexus between climate change awareness and freedom of the press.

He was adamant that the media fraternity must be conscious of its role in driving climate change awareness, as well as the measures being implemented to combat its effects.

“Sometimes we have to be very careful. As journalists, your task is to gather, is to record, and it is to report accurate and correct information. I think that is the role of a journalist,” he underlined.  

The minister also pointed out that Guyana remains on the forefront in fostering climate change initiatives.

These initiatives are enabled through its landmark Low Carbon Development Strategy, which focuses on preserving the country’s vast rainforest, while investing in renewable energy, and supporting climate adapation.

“Guyana is probably one of the best examples of countries that you can look at around the world that has truly stood to our responsibility of ensuring that one, we keep our emission down, two, we protect our forests, and we keep it standing,” Minister Bharrat outlined.

Minister Bharrat speaking to attentive audience at Climate Forum

He said that accurate and adequate reporting of these strides can facilitate knowledge sharing, and better streamlining of efforts to tackle the effects of climate change.

World Press Freedom Day is celebrated annually on May 3, as was declared by the United Nations General Assembly in 1993.

This year’s activities will surround the theme ‘A press for the planet: Journalism in the face of an environmental crisis.’