The President’s vision President David Granger, in his most recent address to the National Assembly, said that the GSDS is the vehicle through which all Guyanese will obtain the ‘good life’.
“The State’s principal objective is to secure the ‘good life’ for all. The ‘good life’ entails providing every citizen with opportunities to be the best that they can be. The ‘good life’ is about securing sustained economic prosperity, ensuring citizens’ access to quality public services and promoting social cohesion.
The ‘good life’ involves eliminating extreme poverty and removing social, ethnic and geographic inequalities. The ultimate indicators of the ‘good life’ are happy communities, happy households and happy people,” the Head of State said. The President added, “Your government has chosen a ‘green’ pathway to guide it towards achieving a ‘good life’. The economy, for too long, has been dependent on the production and export of primary commodities, all of which are vulnerable to exogenous market shocks and natural hazards. A ‘green’ pathway allows us to benefit from our country’s abundant natural resources. A ‘green’ development trajectory will ensure a diversified, resilient economy, promote sustainable development, social cohesion and good governance and protect the environment while generating wealth and employment. The Green State Development Strategy is our roadmap for the transition towards the ‘good’ life.”
Stakeholder Management Coordinator at the Department of Environment, Ms. Aretha Forde
Informing Guyana’s citizenry
The document, while encouraging a ‘greener’ way forward for Guyana, is primarily focused on diversifying Guyana’s economy, opening it up to sustainable income and investment opportunities with benefits that trickle down to the average Guyanese. The Department of Environment within the Ministry of the Presidency has already drafted the GSDS and presented it to Cabinet. Having had good reception at the policy level, the Department now shifts its focus raising awareness among the people of Guyana.
The Department of Energy’s Stakeholder Management Coordinator, Ms. Aretha Forde, explains the importance of participation from the population on this formidable endeavour.
Student at the University of Guyana, Student at the University of Guyana,
Mr. Alex Muniram says that Guyana will be an eco-tourism hub. Ms. Demelsha Nnamani hopes Guyana will become a model ‘green’ nation.
“It is a good thing that the document is an ambitious one. In order for the recommendations that are in the strategy document to work, however, we as a collective citizenry need to work together… It is intended that whatever benefit stems from the policies and the programmes that we implement would go to each and every Guyanese and not just a section of the population. We all want the country to move forward and we all want to benefit from whatever development activities take place,” she said.
Lamenting the fact the average Guyanese may assume that the GSDS targets only environmental issues, Ms. Forde said that the Department is hard at work at keeping the nation informed as implementation activities are set to begin in 2019.
“One of the things that the department has been doing to help Guyanese understand what… a ‘green’ State really means is to have these ‘green’ conversations that we have been hosting in collaboration with Conservation International… We… bring in international speakers who would touch on various aspects of the ‘green’ economy. We would do these ‘green’ conversations with a topic that’s appropriate for the location,” she said.
Acknowledging that to most Guyanese, a change like this can only seem intimidating, Ms. Forde said the secret to embracing the GSDS is relatively simple. Learn more about Guyana, she says, be conscious consumers, buy local, want more for our country, and, most importantly, practice unity.
A ‘green’ State for all The Ministry of the Presidency sought the opinions of Guyana’s future leaders, students attending the University of Guyana for their opinions on how the ‘green’ State reshapes their futures.
Mr. Bhim Ramkissoon is eager to see the ‘green’ State come to fruition. “We have potential. [We have] lush forest… 76 percent of the place is covered in forest. We have abundant sunlight all year, tremendous amounts of wind. We should have gone ‘green’ 50 years ago… Now that they are doing it, it is a positive step forward,” he said.
Mr. Alex Muniram sees big tourism gains in Guyana’s future. “It will help… put Guyana on the map because by going ‘green’ we will… preserve a lot of ecosystems in the country. In the future, a lot of these habitats and ecosystems [will be] extinct. So, if Guyana can preserve those, we will be able to boost tourism because we [will be] one of the few places where those ecosystems exist,” he said.
Ms. Charlene Gilliard also expects great things from Guyana’s imminent ‘green’ State. “I think this strategy would open up new doors… education-wise and business-wise and [with] employment… I’ve been watching tv… People will focus on Brazil, Venezuela, [and] Suriname. It’s like they are going around, but what [about] Guyana,” she said.
In the agreement, her friend, Ms. Erica Moore said that she sees a future where Guyana takes center stage. “I want to see a Guyana where people are proud, Guyanese are proud to say that they are Guyanese. A lot of people go abroad and talk… [badly] about Guyana… That is not nice. I would like people to be proud of Guyanese and for people to be one [and] to work together,” she said.
Ms. Demiesha Nnamani said that Guyana ought to be a model for other nations to follow. “I want to see a country helping other countries… We… are developing this strategy. I want to see us assisting [others] and helping them to develop their strategy also,” she said.
A new Guyana is on the rise and this Government is committed to seeing Guyana reach her full ‘green’ potential.