Preservation of environment critical as Guyana joins oil producing nations – EU Ambassador


The European Union, one of the major financiers of climate change mitigating projects, is urging Guyana to prioritise the protection of the environment alongside the exploitation of oil and gas.

The local EU delegation will be holding a Climate Change forum at the Umana Yana in Kingston, Georgetown on November 13 under the theme “Building climate resilience: Guyana/EU partnerships.”

Speaking with the News Room during an interview, EU Ambassador to Guyana Fernando Ponz Canto noted that “the challenge is to combine the legitimate ambition to exploit this wonderful resource that you have so that the benefits also reach the population but this also has to be combined with preservation of the environment.”

He added that it is also important to reaching global commitments in the fight against climate change.

“What is important is while you exploit the oil in Guyana, we also continue efforts to make sure that the environment is protected and the emissions reduction objectives we have are fulfilled,” the Diplomat said.

Ambassador Canto believes Guyana is at an advantageous point having recognised the importance of preserving the environment at the start of its Petroleum production.

The current administration has set out a Green State Development Strategy (GSDS) under which it looks to push renewable energy projects to be funded by revenues from the petroleum sector.

The EU is at the end of its current budget cycle which covers 2014-2020. Going into the new cycle of funding, the Ambassador said he is looking forward to proposals which can further boost environmental protection.

The EU has been funding various projects in Guyana, including the Forest Law Enforcement, Governance and Trade (EU-FLEGT) agreement which aims to curb illegal logging and facilitate legal timber trade between the European Union and its partners; the Mangrove restoration project and the Disaster Risk Management project – aimed at mitigating flooding.

At Wednesday’s forum, the EU will look at Restoring Mangrove Ecosystems along Guyana’s coast, Enhancing Guyana’s Disaster Risk Management and Resilience to Flooding and the FLEGT project.

The forum is a part of climate diplomacy week of 2019 during which EU delegations and embassies of EU Member States around the world hold various events to foster dialogue and cooperation on climate change, showcase success stories and inspire further action.

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