AFC denounces gov’t attack on Janette Bulkan

The Alliance For Change (AFC) says that the People’s Progressive Party (PPP) government is being “inept and opportunistic” in requesting that the World Bank remove forestry activist, Dr Janette Bulkan from a Technical Advisory Panel.

“The PPP’s unsubstantiated attack on Guyanese citizens who are playing their part to address this issue (climate change) at home and abroad brings discredit to our nation”, said the AFC in a press release yesterday. It noted that in the Guyana Times January 16 edition and in the Kaieteur News the following day, it was reported that Agriculture Minister Robert Persaud had written to the World Bank on 26 November 2009, requesting that the Bank remove Bulkan from the Technical Advisory Panel  (TAP) for Suriname’s REDD Readiness Preparation Plan (R-PP). This action is not befitting of the conduct of a party in power, charged the AFC.

“In fact the clandestine deed, complete with its unsubstantiated allegations and defamatory attribution of unpatriotic conduct, exposes the bankrupt quality of governance in Guyana, marked by character assassination and personal vendettas rather than nation building through the observance of published laws, policies and regulations”, the party declared.

Stating that public intellectuals like Bulkan perform a national service, the AFC noted that in the absence of a multi-stakeholder forum or a functioning chamber for policy debate in the National Assembly; their letters to the free press educate and thereby strengthen Guyana’s fragile institutions. Any government should encourage its citizens – in and out of Guyana – to serve as watchdogs so as to strengthen the body politic, the party said.

It asserted that the PPP seems not to understand the difference between politics and diplomacy and reminded that the role of a political Party-in-Power is to represent fair-mindedly and democratically all of Guyana’s citizens, those in and out of Guyana, PPP and non-PPP supporters.

The AFC said that everyone is aware that forest policy and the management of tropical forests are integral to finding global consensus when addressing Climate Change issues.

“If what has been reported is accurate then this storm in a tea cup has nothing to do with Ms. Bulkan’s competencies, but all to do with supporting the efforts of a sister CARICOM state to make their contributions to fashion and influence the global agenda to slow global warming and climate change”, said the Party.

It stated that just as President Bharrat Jagdeo continues to travel the world seeking support for his Low Carbon Development Strategy for Guyana, he needs to support the efforts of Suriname by promoting the building of alliances and partnerships to address Climate Change. “Not his government’s cheap shots to discredit and destroy the reputation of a Guyanese expert, who is internationally recognized and respected”.

The AFC said that the PPP has failed to comprehend a basic understanding of climate change in its attempt to discredit Bulkan and sully her reputation, “and that is that- Climate Change Has No Borders”.

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