The ongoing national consultation on the Government of Guyana’s Low Carbon Development Strategy (LCDS) 2030 is set to conclude at the end of May, three months after its initial date for the conclusion.
In an interview with the Big Smith News Watch, Lead Coordinator for the LCDS 2030 consultation, Vanessa Benn, said the delay is due to the Covid-19 constraints, physical and face to face outreaches were halted and are currently ongoing.
“In the initial stage, we were unable to go out into communities, particularly Hinterland communities, to carry out the consultation,” she said.
According to Benn, this led to virtual outreaches, over social media such as Facebook and other platforms like YouTube and Zoom. She further explained, “We were fortunate to have the opportunity of going virtual.”
Benn stated that virtual outreaches were able to target a wider range of stakeholders. She said several groups were met with the use of these platforms including the Workers Unions, University of Guyana students, active personnel in the forestry sector, government agencies and ministries, persons from the environmental Non-Governmental Organisations (NGOs), and representatives of women, youths and indigenous people.
The constraints of the pandemic also allowed the LCDS 2030 team to get involved in other activities, such as a live webinar, which was organized by the Moray House Trust, and broadcasted on YouTube and Facebook pages. In this webinar, the participants were able to ask questions and receive answers. The participants included local Guyanese, as well as persons within the Guyanese diaspora and beyond.
According to Ben “The consultation that was done through the virtual platforms, is a significant add-on because we were able to reach a wider swath of people, and benefit from their thoughts and suggestions.”
The National consultation is being conducted so that all Guyanese can become involved in the Government’s vision to build a low carbon economy. The views gathered at the end of the process will serve to formulate a comprehensive strategy.
Further, Ben stated that even though the feedback from Guyanese is encouraging, she is still pleading with those who are not yet involved, to get involved, by reading the LCDS 2030 draft and sharing their thoughts and suggestions.