Workshop on Rio Conventions aims to strengthen local reporting on environmental issues
DPI, GUYANA, Monday, March 19, 2018
In an effort to improve reporting on environmental issues, particularly increasing awareness and understanding of the Rio Conventions and their mainstreaming, a media sensitisation workshop was today hosted by the Department of Environment (DOE) in collaboration with the United Nations Development Programme/Global Environmental Facility (UNDP/GEF).
The DOE and UNDP/GEF are implementing the project titled, “Strengthening technical capacities to mainstream and monitor Rio Convention implementation through policy coordination.”
As a component of the project’s activities the media workshop was held and aims to strengthen reporting on local, regional, national and global environmental issues and their relevance to Guyana.
The three conventions are the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC), ratified August 29, 1994 and the focal point agency is the Office of Climate Change (OCC) and the United Nations Convention on Biological Diversity (UNCBD), ratified on the same date and its focal point agency is the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA).
The third convention is the United Nations Conventions to Combat Desertification (UNCCD), which was ratified on June 26, 1997. The focal point agency is the Guyana Lands and Surveys Commission (GLSC).
Project Coordinator and Manager, DoE, Michelle Klass explained that the focal point agencies have the responsibility of ensuring that all the obligations under the conventions are implemented locally.
The importance of the Green State Development Strategy (GSDS) to the national development trajectory was also reiterated by Stakeholder Management Coordinator, DoE, Aretha Forde.
“It [GSDS] is intended to help Guyana achieve a green economy. So, the green economy is the destination and the GSDS is how we will get there. The green economy is one in which all three pillars of sustainable development are occurring simultaneously…we have economic development, human development and we have environmental protection occurring”, she pointed out.
Forde clarified misconceptions about the strategy, noting that what the country has presently is the GSDS Framework document. Pivotal to its completion are the regional consultations, which are to commence shortly across the country. These consultations, she added, seek to garner input from citizens and other stakeholders about their vision for Guyana over a number of years.
The Stakeholder Management Coordinator elaborated that the GSDS comprises seven thematic areas such as Sustainable Management of the environment, Renewable energy, Resilient infrastructure, Human health and well-being and Governance.
Aspects of the GSDS, Forde noted, are already being implemented at the national level. She cited, as an example, the installation of solar panels on government buildings, which is being conducted collaboratively between the DOE and the Guyana Energy Agency (GEA).
The media was implored to cover events related to environmental issues in an effort to not only improve public awareness, but to highlight how climate change can affect each citizen.
Topics covered included Fundamentals of Writing Environmental Articles. The workshop was facilitated by Oneil Greaves.
By: Stacy Carmichael