Shyam Nokta, the Former Head of Guyana’s Office for Climate Change and an entrepreneur providing environmental services, is one of this year’s five laureates at the prestigious Anthony N Sabga Caribbean Awards for Excellence.
Other laureates include Jamaican novelist Marlon James, Barbadian ophthalmologist and oculoplastic surgeon Dr. Kim Jebodhsingh, Surinamese Information and Communications technology (ICT) Entrepreneur Anuskha Sonai and Trinibagonian Professor Christine Carrington.
The Guyana Manufacturing & Services Association (GMSA) has extended congratulations to Nokta, who is a Past President and current Executive Member of the body. The Private Sector Commission (PSC), has also congratulated Nokta.
See below an overview of Nokta’s work, as detailed by the Anthony N Sabga Caribbean Awards for Excellence team:
Shyam Nokta is the founder and managing director of Environmental Management Consultants Inc. (EMC), a Guyanese company which provides environmental services and innovative solutions to the private sector, Multilateral Organisations, NGOs and Governments.
EMC began in a small room of Mr Nokta’s parents’ home and today is a leading player in Guyana’s environmental and natural resources sectors. With global attention focused on Guyana as the world’s newest oil-producing nation, EMC is the premier local company providing a range of specialised environmental services, offering on-the-ground expertise not only in oil and gas but across 15 sectors, including mining, agriculture, fisheries, forestry, tourism, renewable energy, manufacturing and infrastructure. EMC’s emergence, growth and development is a tribute to Nokta’s foresight, tenacity, and business prowess.
EMC’s services include: conducting environmental and social impact assessment studies, preparing environmental management plans; conducting biodiversity assessments; providing environmental compliance support; environmental training and capacity building. The company also supports Governments to meet Multilateral Environmental Agreements, such as the UN Conventions on climate change, biodiversity and land degradation and Multilateral Organisations to ensure their environmental and social safeguards are complied with as part of projects implementation.
An Environmental Studies graduate of the University of Guyana, Mr Nokta was inspired to start EMC after noticing a growing trend of environmental awareness being translated into action by Governments and Multilateral Organisations. He saw a gap in the local market and took the bold step of starting a business that would help private sector companies meet their regulatory requirements and improve their environmental performance.
Mr Nokta acquired much of his practical knowledge and expertise working with NGOs to support biodiversity conservation and sustainable forestry management. Early in his career he was one of the Young Professionals at the Iwokrama International Centre and its programme for biodiversity conservation and management and was a key member of the team overseeing ranger training and management of the wilderness preserve. He was one of the founding members of the Guyana Marine Turtle Conservation Society (GMTCS), a local conservation NGO which spearheaded turtle conservation efforts and the setting up of Shell Beach as a National Protected Area. He served as In-Country Representative of the UK based Fauna & Flora International (FFI), one of the oldest conservation organisations globally which provided training and capacity development support for Guyana’s Protected Areas System, and as Chairman of the Board for the Kaieteur National Park, Guyana’s first national park and protected area, a position he held for over 5 years.
Mr Nokta acquired policy level and international experience as Head of Guyana’s Office of Climate Change between 2008 and 2013. During this time he helped develop Guyana’s response to climate change and the country’s first Low Carbon Development Strategy (LCDS) which received national and international acclaim. He was one of the principal negotiators of Guyana’s ground-breaking agreement with the Kingdom of Norway in 2009 which saw Norway pledge up to US$250 million as payment for forest climate services Guyana’s forest provide.
These experiences enabled Mr Nokta to acquire knowledge and expertise to offer clients unparalleled insight into Guyana’s unique geography, natural and cultural heritage as well as the country’s leadership role on the environment, biodiversity conservation, sustainable forest management and climate change.
Shyam Nokta currently plays a prominent role in Guyana’s private sector. He is the immediate past President of the Guyana Manufacturing and Services Association (GMSA) and Vice President of the American Chambers of Commerce (AMCHAM) in Guyana where he chairs the Energy Committee. He also serves as Representative for the Caribbean for The Energy and Resources Institute (TERI), a Delhi based not for profit NGO which is a global leader in renewable energy, biotechnology and sustainable development.
In August 2020 he was appointed by Guyana’s President, Dr Irfaan Ali to Chair a Local Content Advisory Panel to advise the government on creating a strong local content policy and legislation for the petroleum sector. He continues to play a leading role on local content, having been appointed in January 2022 as Chair of an Advisory Team on local content to Guyana’s umbrella private sector body, the Private Sector Commission.