By Stacy Carmichael-James
Earth Day is celebrated each year on April 22 worldwide and Guyana today hosted an activity in observance of the day at Independence Park, where the commitment to the Green State and environmental protection was restated by the Head of State and other officials.
Director of the Department of Environment Ndibi Schwiers noted that we are undeniably living in challenging environmental times, highlighting that the current state of the environment is quite different that what obtained many years ago.
Issues from climate change to waste disposal, she pointed out, challenge policy makers to think about solutions. According to her these issues are not just going to disappear on their own. Therefore she noted that it is the collective responsibility of stakeholders to ensure that these issues are addressed seriously, prudently and with urgent attention. ” I, therefore, challenge you as the stakeholders to be active participants in all fora that are concerned with environmental protection and to be worthy advocates of environmental issues,” Schwiers urged. The Director said in so doing potential income generating activities, which provide opportunities for employment would be discovered.
It was pointed out that good, green, environmental governance is enshrined in the framework document for the Green State Development Strategy, which is aimed at guiding the process for the wider Green State Development Strategy.
Importantly, it intends to ensure a sustainable transition to inclusive green growth and a better quality of life for all Guyanese.
UNDP Resident Representative, Shabnam Mallick said all people are affected by global climatic changes, neglect of the environment and other disruptions in the earth’s cycles; however, the poorest and most vulnerable sections are the most affected. “In order to meet the basic needs of a growing population within the limits of the earth’s finite resources, there is a need to devise a more sustainable model for production, consumption and the economy as a whole, ” she implored.
Meantime, Minister with Responsibility for Youth, Nicolette Henry noted that Youth represents an abundant asset Guyana possesses; therefore she noted that it is incumbent that appropriate strategies, policies, and programmes be developed and implemented to mitigate challenges young people face. She noted too that young people need to be educated so that they can take action to defend and protect the environment.
Delivering the feature address, President David Granger observances such as these remind us that the earth and ecosystems are our homes and in order to achieve a just balance among the economic, social and environmental needs of present and future generations, it is necessary to promote harmony with nature and the earth.
” Mother Earth is our home, our only home, we can have no other and its ecosystems help us to survive. We have a duty to protect Mother Earth’s resources so that they can provide sustenance, shelter, and security for present and future generations. If we care for Mother Earth, Mother Earth will care for us, ” said the Guyanese Leader.
The President said Guyana fully endorses this year’s Earth Day theme: “Environment and Climate Literacy” and acknowledges the need to promote greater awareness of the environment.
Tokens were handed over to representatives of the UNDP, PAHO, IDB, IICA and FAO.
A tree was planted at the location in observance of the day.
Earth Day is an annual event celebrated on April 22. Worldwide, various events are held to demonstrate support for environmental protection. First celebrated in 1970, Earth Day events in more than 193 countries are now coordinated globally by the Earth Day Network.