Gov’t to follow through on plans to resuscitate LCDS

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As promised in the governing People’s Progressive Party/ Civic’s (PPP/C) manifesto, President Irfaan Ali on Thursday recommitted to the reinstituting of an expanded Low Carbon Development Strategy (LCDS).

The strategy as it is now will be broadened to include wider environmental services, water resources management, climate resilience, biodiversity, renewable energy, and the marine economy, the President said in his inaugural address to Parliament.

The expanded LCDS will also include the establishment of an International Centre of Excellence for Biological Diversity with objective of promoting cutting edge research and developing and exporting educational services.

“We believe that this strategy will allow Guyana to earn substantial revenue that can be utilized to diversify the economy and create employment opportunities for our people as we did previously under the Norway Agreement,” Dr Ali said in his inaugural address to Parliament on Thursday.

In the Norway agreement, Guyana can earn hundreds of millions of U.S dollars as the country had established in an earlier arrangement with the Norwegians.

Dr. Ali said through such an agreement, Guyana will seek to ensure the creation of new clean jobs. “We also intend for the benefits from the Payments for Ecosystem Services (PES) to flow to all Guyanese, especially our indigenous communities, where First Prior Informed Consent (FPIC) principles and the Opt-In Mechanism shall be strictly observed,” he added.

The national strategy will also seek to strengthen the institutional mandate of the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) by providing an empowering regulatory framework to guide economic growth initiatives.

This also means that the National System of Protected Areas will also be strengthened and expanded in accordance with international standards of environmental integrity.

According to the President, the expanded LCDS will provide opportunities to all Guyanese by creating avenues that will provide grants for start-up businesses of a renewable energy nature.

Beyond the management of the country’s natural resources, the expanded LCDS will also ensure the issuance of land management and access to land is also addressed.

“This will be done by the establishment of a formal inter-agency mechanism with the intention to coordinate among key sectors to address various land-use conflicts in Guyana via the implementation of the Land Use Policy,” Dr. Ali explained.

The policy is also expected to be implemented with a regional dimension that would ensure to incorporate the interests of both residential and commercial users.

As the Head of State and his government envision, the expanded LCDS will guide the country’s developmental trajectory along with an inclusive, low carbon, sustainable, clean, resilient path with increased economic opportunities and investments linked to greater social and infrastructural development for the benefit of all.

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