Former president of Guyana, Bharrat Jagdeo, could be playing the role of roving ambassador for the world’s rainforest countries in the preparations for the Rio+20 conference in Brazil in June this year.
Rio+20 is the short name for the United Nations Conference on Sustainable Develop-ment to take place in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, in June 2012 – twenty years after the landmark 1992 Earth Summit in Rio.
The official discussions will focus on two main themes – how to build a green economy to achieve sustainable development and lift people out of poverty; and how to improve international coordination for sustainable development.
Last week President of the Republic of Congo, Denis Sassou-Nguesso and Jagdeo held a meeting in the Congolese capital, Brazzaville to advance the ‘Three Basins’ initiative which was established in that city last year by Heads of State and other leaders from the world’s three major rainforest basins.
Jagdeo was asked by the Heads of State and other leaders to act as roving ambassador for the world’s rainforest countries, and he was in Congo as part of the first stage of identifying strategic actions that can be taken to facilitate global progress, according to a press release from the Office of Climate Change, Office of the President.
Speaking after the meeting, Jagdeo underscored the importance of the Three Basins initiative and is quoted in the press release as saying: “Now that I am starting to look at helping the other countries as the roving ambassador, I hope that I can make a useful contribution to the work of the President of the Congo and the other Heads of State in the preparations for the Rio+20 conference in June this year, and beyond.”
Over the coming months, the release continued, Jagdeo will work with other forest countries to identify specific ways in which solutions can be found to move forward with ambitious action to maintain the world’s forests.
Jagdeo is also quoted as saying after the meeting with President Sassou-Nguesso: “We had the opportunity to discuss the importance of South-South relationships in solving the world’s biggest problems, and in particular how forest countries are at the forefront of solving the inter-linked global problems of climate and food security.”
Jagdeo noted that under the leadership of President Sassou-Nguesso and Minister Henri Djombo, Congo has kept up the fight to ensure that the vital global assets that are present in the world’s rainforests are recognized.
“We cannot let the world ignore the need for action on forests. If we do, ten years down the line, we will have not just a worsening climate crisis, but greater food insecurity and major resource shortages – which will cause massive setbacks to poverty alleviation, sustainable development and physical security across the world. That is why the Three Basins initiative is so important,” Jagdeo said further.
In November 2011, when Jagdeo demitted office from the Presidency of Guyana in accordance with term limits he signed into the constitution, Guyana’s Low Carbon Development Strategy was continuing to shift the nation’s economy onto a new trajectory, where consistently strong economic growth was being allied with the maintenance of 99.5% of Guyana’s forest cover and a transition to renewable energy use, the release from Office of the President concluded.