The intensity and accelerating rapidity of climate change particularly fuelled by the almost geometric depletion of the ozone layer has not only grabbed the world’s attention, but has reshaped the world’s focus and energies towards finding a solution for both mitigating against the effects of and slowing down climate change.
The imperatives of this dynamic have created new opportunities for individual countries, particularly those like Guyana that are specifically endowed “with pristine forest resources”, to rethink the strategic deployment of its resources, to refashion its developmental model and to use this opportunity to chart a new course forward that can create leapfrogging development for its peoples, during the rest of this century and onwards.
The moment and the opportunity have been effectively seized by President Jagdeo and his administration. The Low Carbon Development Strategy (LCDS) has been adumbrated, articulated and widely discussed.
It is now being revised as a result of consultations and shifts of policies in the international arena.
While the LCDS does not focus on any new economic developmental models, it speaks about agriculture, aquaculture, hydroelectricity development, solar and wind etc. etc.
It is the first time in Guyana’s history that Guyana will receive large sums of developmental finance for just being.
Clearly, under any set of circumstances, any leader or president or politician or person who brings this about for and behalf of his country must be applauded, praised and fully supported by his entire country – politics notwithstanding.
President Jagdeo can justifiably be described as the most travelled president or the most globetrotting political leader of the century and that is because he has interacted on a person to person basis with dozens of internationally renowned world leaders having taken every and all opportunity to effectively represent Guyana’s position and its Low Carbon Development Strategies at every forum, international conference, regional conference, special interest group etc.
As the countdown to Copenhagen narrows, we see the dividends already being realised. At the end of Copenhagen, the real numbers will be better quantified.
But, by any measure, Guyana stands to gain hundreds of millions of US dollars per annum from 2010 into the future.
Obviously, the conditionalities attached to the drawdown of these funds will be stringent indeed and many Guyanese departments e.g. Guyana Forestry Commission etc. will have to improve and increase their capacity.
Hence national capacity building across the board will be a collateral benefit – a real win – win for Guyana.
Clearly this effort and the results are worthy of national acclamation. Even the naysayers and those that perennially dwell in the realm of the negative must acknowledge that these achievements come once in a lifetime and that Bharrat Jagdeo has firmly placed Guyana on the crest of the tide.
But the tide must crest for all Guyana and here in Region 10 where the economic realities are dire and are about to become even more dire with the impending closure of the Rusal bauxite plant at Aroaima and the loss of 700 odd jobs, also the unemployment situation in Linden being in the vicinity of 85%, clearly the time is now for all stakeholders in Region 10 to commend to President Jagdeo and his Government, a special Region 10 LCDS task force that can fashion specific projects in specific areas to help mitigate our dire and dying economic landscape in Region 10 and if the existing and established political stakeholders are reluctant and negative due to political persuasion, then the President must be prepared to work with other stakeholders who want to see this town and region move forward.
The Regional Forest Producers Associations and organisations and the Linden Salvation Council are more than ready, willing and able to take up this responsibility…now.
Phillip G. Bynoe
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