Countrywide consultation ongoing on extension of LCDS

(Photo: Residents of Region Three at Saturday’s meeting)

In 2009, Guyana launched the first Low-carbon Development Strategy (LCDS) as a developing country, setting out a vision for inclusive, sustainable development, while simultaneously maintaining the country’s forests. With significant development since then, the country is looking towards LCDS 2030 to create a new low-carbon economy. Currently, consultations are ongoing across the country to solicit recommendations.

On Saturday, a consultation session was hosted at the Leonora Secondary School in Region Three where Minister within the Ministry of Public Works, Deodat Indar, said he was happy with the level of interest being expressed by Guyanese on the LCDS 2030. “It is in its draft stage, so we are coming out to all the communities, and we are meeting with our people to have this consultation… so you know why we are doing it, that you understand it and you also can question it and add to it,” he told those persons at the gathering.

The strategy is based on four objectives: to create new incentives for a low-carbon economy, protect against climate change and biodiversity loss, stimulate future growth: clean energy and low-carbon development, and align with global climate and biodiversity goals.

The Minister highlighted that between 2009 and 2015, Guyana’s ability to preserve its forest earned the country US $212.52 billion in payments from Norway. Minister Indar said the government will continue to advocate for a carbon tax for its role in the fight against climate change.

“If Guyana is having its forest standing, we believe that we should be rewarded for that. We are doing the world a service; it is a global service we are doing here. We are providing a carbon sink for harmful gases that are emitted in the atmosphere by countries that do not have this kind of strategy and do not possess or have the kind of target to reduce their carbon emission,” he stated.

The Residents were given an overview of the LCDS by the Chairperson of the Board of Directors of the Guyana Forestry Commission (GFC), Vanessa Benn. Chairman of the Private Sector Commission, Paul Cheong and NDC Chairman Jainarine Narine made brief remarks in support of the LCDS and the government’s consultation exercise.

A similar session was hosted in Anna Regina, Region Two on Friday.

Speaking at that meeting, Minister of Local Government and Regional Development Nigel Dharmlall said a key part of the extension of the LCDS will be to place core emphasis on the vulnerable, betterment of the healthcare service, building and maintenance of roads, and the education sector.

“We all have to work to enable the extension of this project to manifest into something good. We have to work to ensure that opportunities are created,” he said.

The minister during his address to leaders of region two, which comprised of Toshaos, and the Regional Democratic Council, urged them to be innovative in their planning for the future.

That meeting was also addressed by Ms. Benn who the impact of climate change is real and that Guyana is doing a commendable service.

“What we are doing is that we are marketing our resources on the international market for the role we are playing,” she said.

According to Benn, a core aim of the LCDS extension is aimed at maintaining the gains Guyana has made since 2009.

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