President David Granger joined over 100 Heads of Government this morning to sign the Paris Climate Agreement.
President Granger has indicated that addressing the impacts of climate change is a priority for Guyana even as national policy moves in the direction of the development of a green economy.
“As you know Guyana is one of the States with a low-lying coastland so we are concerned with coastal zone management and the dangers of rising sea levels. Also you know that over the past four or five months we have been severely affected by the El Niño phenomena and some parts of our country, particularly the Rupununi, which is our largest region, have been severely affected and there are other areas, which have suffered unfavourable impacts because of climate change and we need to prepare. We are committed to the maintenance of the Iwokrama rain forest, which is a laboratory; an ecological and environmental laboratory so that we can learn how to cope with climate change,” the President said in an invited comment.
He noted that Guyana and countries around the world worked hard to reach the Paris Agreement and said that the signing ceremony is an important event as all countries have a role to play.
The President said it is “a reaffirmation of the fact that we are an important player. We are a part of the Amazonian ecological environment and we are an important player in the world, not just a few people in Guyana, for the world. We are what they call the lungs of the world. You know the Amerindians have a saying that trees hold up the sky. If you cut down the trees, the sky will fall.
Guyana is preparing to host a technical team from the Norwegian Agency for Development Cooperation (NORAD), and Norway’s International Climate and Forest Initiative, from April 26 to May 4, 2016 to discuss the future of the Guyana-Norway Agreement
President Granger said that the Government is looking to maintain strong relations with that country as the furtherance of that agreement is beneficial to both countries.
“As you know we have very cordial relations with Norway concerning the agreement, particularly for the reduction of carbon emissions. So [discussions] will be along those lines and Norway is more or less assisted to overcome some of the worst impacts of climate change by encouraging us to preserve the forest as well. So it is a two-way street and we want to maintain that relationship with Norway,” the President said.