President and GEF Programme Director discuss ‘green’ economy, protection of Guiana Shield

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President David Granger was paid a courtesy call by the Director of Programmes of the Global Environment Facility (GEF), Dr. Gustavo da Fonseca and officials from Conservation International Guyana (CI-G). The visiting delegation was accompanied by CI’s Executive Director, Dr. David Singh. Prime Minister Moses Nagamootoo, Minister of Natural Resources, Mr. Raphael Trotman and officials from the Department of Environment were also present at the meeting, which was held on the side-lines of Cabinet’s statutory meeting, on Tuesday.

President David Granger in discussions with the visiting delegation- GEF’s Environmental Specialist, Ms. Evelyn Swain, Dr. David Singh, Mr. Sebastian Troeng and Dr. Gustavo da Fonseca

The Director is currently in Guyana for the launch of a programme, which is primarily aimed at reducing the exposure and use of mercury in artisanal and small-scale mining.

During the meeting, President Granger spoke of his Government’s commitment to conservation and sustainable development and of the need for countries within the Guiana Shield to develop strong partnerships with each other so as to advance the protection of this diverse ecological zone. “I’ve always envisaged the Guiana Shield as a natural zone for those countries to come together… We want to strengthen our relationship with the other countries in the Shield [and] we hope that we will not be alone in this task even as we have taken some initiative,” he said.

In this regard, both CI and the GEF indicated their willingness to play a greater role in facilitating this kind of collaboration in the Guiana Shield.

The Head of State explained that Guyana’s ‘green’ trajectory towards economic development has been gaining momentum, particularly over the past few months as even private companies are beginning to make the transition to ‘green’ energy. He also noted that Guyana is committed to maintaining a healthy balance between development of the sustainable management of the extractive industries and conservation and environmental protection.

Dr. da Fonseca said that the GEF is pleased with Guyana’s efforts and that the organisation is looking forward to developing a broader and more meaningful relationship with the country. “It is great that Guyana is taking the step forward and working with us… The President reiterated this commitment to a ‘green’ economy for Guyana and we want to make ‘green’ economy the real model for the work and support that we provide to developing countries going forward,” he said. (MOTP)

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