LCDS promotes inclusion of women and vulnerable groups – Dr Persaud tells UN

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Guyana’s Low Carbon Development Strategy (LCDS), which seeks to balance economic development and environmental preservation, promotes the inclusion of women and vulnerable groups in key economic sectors.

This was highlighted by the Minister of Human Services and Social Security, Dr. Vindhya Persaud while addressing a ministerial roundtable at the United Nations’ (UN) Commission on the Status of Women, Sixty-sixth session (CSW66) on Tuesday in New York.

The discussion focused on the topic ‘climate change, environmental and disaster risk reduction policies and programmes: advancing gender equality through holistic and integrated actions from global to local.’

Dr. Persaud noted that the “disproportionate impact of climate change on women and girls has created the impetus to educate and integrally involve them as leaders and agents of change in climate action and disaster risk reduction in Guyana.”

During her presentation, Minister Persaud outlined that since the launch of the LCDS in 2009, women have benefited through micro, small enterprise and entrepreneurial projects and job opportunities.

“62 per cent of the Low Carbon cash grants were awarded to women, who were trained in climate-smart agriculture, sustainable forestry, photography and business development,” she highlighted.

She reasoned that by Guyana protecting its forest, which covers 85 per cent of the country, and by meeting some of the most urgent climate challenges, climate financing for an Amerindian Development Fund was secured – which benefited 180 communities and created jobs for indigenous women.

“Climate financing is currently bridging the ICT divide for hinterland women and girls with the provision of laptops and the creation of ICT hubs powered by solar systems, transforming the way in which they access government and social services,” she noted.

Noteworthy, the minister underscored that Guyanese women are leading in climate action and advocacy and have pioneered solutions to protect the country’s valuable ecosystem.

She mentioned that the Guyana Marine Conservation Society, a non-governmental organization (NGO) has led in terms of capacity building for female marine scientists and young women from hinterland communities.

The organization, through their work, has trained females to pilot drones to monitor resources that are key to preserving the ecosystem of mangroves as barriers to rising sea levels, Dr. Persaud shared.

High on Guyana’s agenda is the strengthening of women’s participation in agricultural production and women’s education in climate change adaptation and mitigation strategies.

“Women in rural and remote communities also have economic opportunities in Guyana’s rapidly expanding low carbon eco-tourism sector,” Dr. Persaud said.

The Commission on the Status of Women is the principal global intergovernmental body exclusively dedicated to the promotion of gender equality and the empowerment of women.

CSW66 is scheduled to take place from March 14 to March 25, 2022 under the theme “Achieving gender equality and the empowerment of all women and girls in the context of climate change, environmental and disaster risk reduction policies and programmes”. Review theme: Women’s economic empowerment in the changing world of work”.

Minister Persaud elaborated that the conversations and actions around gender equality and the empowerment of women and girls have been ceaseless, both nationally and globally.

“Our global achievement of gender equality in the context of climate change is heavily reliant on each country’s commitment and genuine desire to mitigate the devastating impact of climate change globally,” she said.

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