LCDS discussion series

—Dr Watkins
Developing human capacity was highlighted as a crucial issue as two conservation organizations began the first of a three-part public discussion series on Guyana’s Low Carbon Development Strategy (LCDS).

Building capacity at the individual, organizational and institutional level is critical, said Dr Graham Watkins of the Karanambu Trust. He recommended that capacity building be inserted into the strategy while noting that currently the LCDS needs a lot of work in terms of implementation. Another critical factor identified by presenters and participants was the need for education, particularly for youths on the LCDS.

Thursday’s forum at the Pegasus Hotel was focused on building human capacity to respond to and support a low carbon economy and representatives of several organizations as well as Head of the Presidential Secretariat, Dr Roger Luncheon made presentations. It was organized by Conservation International and the Iwokrama International Centre in collaboration with the government.

Dr Luncheon in his presentation said that certain mindsets must be changed. He noted that a big issue is funding for the implementation of the strategy.

He asserted that a low carbon economy is all about re-ordering the economy, improving capacity to develop new thinking, financing to implement the results of the new thinking and marketing products of the new thinking. “The low carbon development strategy is the answer to what we face from climate change,” said Dr Luncheon.

Several representatives of organizations also made presentations while participants were allowed an opportunity to raise issues and make contributions. Vincent Henry, Principal of the Bina Hill Institute in the Rupununi, while relating an encounter, asserted that without education the LCDS will fail.

He highlighted too the issue of large-scale farming in the Rupununi, recommending that this not be done. He alluded to the large-scale use of chemicals and noted that he had visited a large rice farm in Brazil and it only had five workers as everything was done by machinery. Such farms here would not benefit the local people, he argued.

The issue of getting youths involved so as to instil in them the importance of the environment was also highlighted, while many praised the strategy.

The second forum will be held tomorrow at the Regency Hotel.

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