Head of the Office of Climate Change Janelle ChristianThe Ministry of the Presidency’s Office of Climate Change on Wednesday hosted a stakeholder validation workshop on the National Climate Change Policy and Action Plan.The workshop, which was hosted at Cara Lodge and saw several stakeholders in attendance, was aimed at pursuing sustainable management of forest resources which is a major source of mitigation to the change in climate. It will be based on the three pillars of sustainable development which includes economy, environment and human resources.Head of the Office of Climate Change, Janelle Christian during her remarks at the opening of the workshop highlighted the changes that are being experienced in the Caribbean which includes more hot days, more intense rainfall and longer periods of drought which puts livelihood and other economic activities at risk.She noted that the source of power generation in Guyana is a major contributor to greenhouse gas emissions and as a result, Government has aspired to transition to renewable energy. “We will continue to pursue sustainable management of our forest resources,” she said.Further, Christian alluded to the challenges facing Region Nine (Upper Takutu-Upper Essequibo), with respect to water and water resources due to the prolonged dry season, however, due to Government’s construction of a manmade reservoir, it was able to offer some relief to some of those communities.She noted that the signs of climate change have been recognised and as a result, Guyana needs to take action to ensure the protection of lives, livelihood, ecosystems and infrastructure for the people of Guyana. “We need to have a framework across Government to do policy strategies and plan to ensure that we adapt, adjust and build resilience so that when these events come, we are able to withstand and continue life as normal,” she added.According to Christian, Guyana is now preparing its third national communication to the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change.The aim of this policy is to ensure that action is taken across all of Government and the community level since the people are usually the first to be affected by climate change. “We want to ensure that whether we have months without rainfall, it will not disrupt the livelihood of our people,” she stated.She highlighted the need for the creation of resilience in assets and infrastructure adding that the policy will take into account all vulnerable groups among us.Meanwhile, consultant Dr Kalim Shah, who gave an overview of the policy, noted that as climate change action is being implemented in Guyana, awareness should be made with respect to efficiency in the use of limited resources and should not aim to replicate programmes already being undertaken by other related agencies but rather focus on the building of capacity and other resources to tackle climate change.Guyana’s climate change policy seeks to integrate the socio-economic and environmental challenges of climate change into national sustainable development planning that generates strategic actions at all levels for adaptation, mitigation and resilience.The national goals for addressing climate include the reduction of climate-related loss and damage across productive sectors, promoting community development and redirecting economic activities away from vulnerable areas. It also aims at reducing poverty, loss of livelihood and food insecurity and promoting a clean environment for all.Further, it targets the reduction of greenhouse gas emissions across sectors and transitioning to climate resilient infrastructure and integrated physical land use plans. It also seeks to promote holistic development planning by utilising environmentally friendly materials and adopting new technologies and early warning signs.Further, it aims to develop and implement sustainable land management best practices to combat land degradation with focus on the hinterland and improved availability and access to climate change data and information.
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