The Office of Climate Change (OCC), hosted the first session of a two-part National Stakeholder Forum for the Transitioning to National Energy Security (TNES): Bartica as a model Green Town Project. The Stakeholder Meeting was held in the Ogle Room of the Herdmanston Lodge in Queenstown.
The TNES Project is being implemented by the OCC in partnership with the Caribbean Community Climate Change Centre (CCCCC) and funded by the Government of Italy under the Italy-Caribbean Community (CARICOM) Partnership Programme.
The objective of the project is to gather and compile data on energy use in Bartica, which will be used to inform evidence-based decision making for the future implementation of projects and programmes. The stakeholder meetings will see the participation of a number of representatives from a wide cross-section of national and international agencies in an attempt to collect a comprehensive data set.
During her feature address, Head of the OCC, Ms. Janelle Christian, said that the project represents the potential Guyana has to be a true ‘green’ State.
“This is not an OCC project. This is a Government of Guyana project. This is [the] possibility of where we can go as a country… Even as we have great ambition and we learn from what is happening in other parts of the world, we must bear in mind our particular… country context… Importantly, we need data for decision-making, otherwise it may just be guess work,” she said.
Ms. Christian encouraged the stakeholders to fully engage in the meeting as the TNES project will provide a blueprint for other towns and countries to replicate.
“As we learn, even as we introduce these concepts in Bartica, they will be replicated in the other towns across Guyana. I want to encourage you today to ask questions, make suggestions so that we can ensure that this process is robust, to ensure that we do not just have a good time in terms of being happy with the results of our studies.
“ [Think] about the President’s vision because, very soon, the Green State Development Strategy will be fully elaborated to the point of implementation. So, Bartica is giving us an opportunity to learn,” she said.
Mayor of Bartica, Mr. Gifford Marshall said that Bartica is committed to its role as a model green town. “The Municipality of Bartica is committed to, not only establishing ‘green’ projects and ‘green’ ideas and moving the concept forward within the township, but we are also committed to sharing our ideas and ideals with the rest of Guyana.
“This project will serve as a great pillar on what is to come. This project… will lay the foundation for right decisions going forward… Bartica is one of the most beautiful towns in Guyana and we need to preserve that environment. We want to set the pace. We want to ensure that whatever is done there is done in an environmentally friendly matter. Bartica is going places and Guyana as a whole will benefit tremendously,” he said.
Representative from the CCCCC, Mr. Mark Bynoe, spoke on the importance of working with a wide cross-section of consultants to collect data for the TNES Project. “A ‘green’ economy must be accompanied with the requisite capacity to stimulate and support such an initiative.
Thus, while speaking of public-private partnerships, it’s imperative that we begin that dialogue, not today, but start it from yesterday and long ago… it is imperative that we recognise the importance of working hand-in-hand as we seek to truly make what started out as a vision, become a reality,” he said.
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