Regulation News

Guyana and UN Environment Collaborate on Strategy for Environmental Development

  • UN Environment today presented President David Granger of Guyana with the Green State Development Strategy: Vision 2040
  • The 20-year strategy was developed after a broad and participatory consultation process with all stakeholders and communities in the country
  • The strategy promotes three key messages: manage natural resource wealth; support economic resilience and build human capital and institutional capacity

Aiming to advance sustainable economic growth in Guyana while preserving the country’s vast natural capital, UN Environment, in collaboration with the Government of Guyana, today presented the Green State Development Strategy: Vision 2040 to Guyanese President David Granger.

The objective of this comprehensive policy is to reorient and diversify the Caribbean nation’s economy, reducing its reliance on resource-intensive sectors. It also aims to open new sustainable income and investment opportunities in green sectors with higher added value, while promoting equitable distribution of benefits and opportunities to all Guyanese citizens.

The Strategy is the platform from which Guyana can start its transition to a diversified green and inclusive economy, transforming itself into a ‘green state’ and serve as an inspiration to other countries in the region and worldwide.

“The world has come to realize that climate change is a grim, relentless reality. There is no avoidance. Hardly a day passes that we do not see the adverse impact of climate change. It is great for us to be ahead of the game,” said President Granger. “

“We have challenges with our coastal zone management, El Nino, droughts and floods. And we have industries which are now starting to have an impact on air quality and water quality. We intend to be a ‘green’ state [and] I hope that other Caribbean countries will take the lead from Guyana in pursuit of this strategy,” he added.

The Green State Development Strategy sets out multiple strategic actions to strengthen fiscal and monetary policy; sustainably manage land resources; increase economic competitiveness and resilience; build resilient infrastructure; move towards renewable energy; improve trade, investment and international cooperation; and foster a healthy, educated and socially cohesive population.

The presentation of Guyana’s policy comes days ahead of World Environment Day, the United Nations annual call for action on environmental protection. Celebrated on June 5th, the theme for this year’s commemoration is air pollution, responsible for around seven million deaths each year globally, according to the World Health Organization. Air pollution is closely linked with climate change and economic development; many air pollutants, such as black carbon or ground-level ozone – the main ingredient in smog – have important impacts on the climate.

“The 20-year national development policy reflects the guiding vision and principles of the ‘green agenda’ – an inclusive and prosperous Guyana that provides a good quality life for all its citizens based on sound education and social protection, low-carbon and resilient development, providing new economic opportunities, justice and political empowerment,” said Leo Heileman, UN Environment’s Regional Director for Latin America and the Caribbean.

Heileman noted that sound management of Guyana’s natural resources is essential to the country’s global leadership in relation to climate change and sustainable development. The country has significant potential in the conservation of forests, which cover 87 per cent of its territory.

Guyana’s Director of the Department of Environment, Ndibi Schwiers, said implementation would begin in 2020, before which the Government will establish a team focused on implementing the Strategy’s recommendations.

The policy was developed through a multi-layered, nationwide, stakeholder consultation process conducted throughout 2018, with the technical support of the UN Environment Regional Office in Latin America and the Caribbean. The policy document was revised and submitted to the Government’s Cabinet in April 2019.

Story by UN Environment

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