Government has applied to the World Bank for financing to the tune of US$20M.
The funding is for the Guyana Petroleum Resources Governance and Management Project (GPRGMP). Part of the proceeds are meant to pay a consulting firm for The Strategic Environmental & Social Assessment (SESA).
Government has sent out the request for Expressions of Interest related specifically to the Strategic Environmental & Social Assessment (SESA), with estimated project duration of 15 months, commencing in this year.
The Department of Energy, according to a release, intends for this initiative to meet long-term country development outcomes by integrating environmental, social (including labour), health, safety and security considerations in oil and gas policies, laws and sector growth.
Most notably, in relation to Oil Spill Preparedness, Emergency Response and Crisis Management, the initiative will identify the existing government agencies in Guyana with responsibility (defined mandates, roles and responsibilities), and existing built in capacity (or lack of) for contingency planning and response.
Since the first discovery in 2015, Guyana has been rushing to prepare a framework to manage production in the centre, slated for 2020. That is likely the fastest a country has ever gone from the first discovery of oil, to production.
SESA is meant to provide a comprehensive review of the sector’s potential impacts, both positive and negative, and identify gaps in regulations, institutional capacity, and public consultation mechanisms.
The SESA is meant to be a strategic framework for strengthening environmental and social sustainability of the oil and gas sector in Guyana, strengthening the country’s ability to address health and safety issues in this sector, and to inform the preparation of an Indigenous People’s Planning Framework (IPPF).
In the process, the SESA is meant to contribute to a more transparent understanding of environmental and social regulations, creating a more level playing field for private investors, according to the Ministry of the Presidency.
There are several areas that SESA will scope. First is the environmental and social impact management experience in the sector, including water quality, air quality, geology and soils, biodiversity, marine resources, socio-economic and coastal activities.
The rest of the initiative’s scope includes current projects, plans and trends in the sector (onshore and offshore); the existing legal, regulatory and contractual framework for the sector, including draft legislation/regulations under development; existing strategic framework for Guyana; and information about high-potential industries that may emerge as a result of the sector’s development and that are likely to have environmental and/or social impacts.
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