President David Granger, yesterday, met with members of the Guyanese diaspora at the Guyana Mission in New York, where he engaged them on the Government’s push for a ‘green’ economy. The President also used the occasion to promote investment opportunities in the ‘green’ sector, which he says will bloom as the country continues to make headway globally in creating a ‘green’ footprint, according to GINA.
The President was accompanied by Minister of Foreign Affairs, Mr. Carl Greenidge, retired international diplomat, Sir Shridath Ramphal and Guyana’s Permanent Representative to the United Nations, Ambassador Rudolph Michael Ten-Pow, among others.
Addressing those who had gathered for the meeting, President Granger said that Guyana’s pursuit of a ‘green’ agenda and economy is simply not for ‘show’ neither is it mere ‘talk’, rather it is plan of action that is necessary if the country and the wider world are to combat the climate change and global warming phenomena, GINA reported.
Guyana, he said, is not only one of the most beautiful and bountiful Caribbean countries, it has valuable resources, particularly its pristine, virtually untouched rainforests which forms part of the lungs of the earth. Guyana is an integral part of the global ‘green’ movement, he said.
“We come from a very big country. Our land space is bigger than Germany and we have some of the most blessed, the most unique flora and fauna in the whole world and I don’t exaggerate. I call the Guiana Shield the second ‘Garden of Eden’ because we are a part of the lungs of the earth. We contain substantial freshwater reserves, our forests help the earth to breathe and we have at least 20 of the most unique animals in the world…but really our product, even if you regard it as a tourist product, regard it as a habitat which protects these animals, you would see that we have something which other people are prepared to pay for, to come to Guyana to see. When I look at my country, on the West we have Venezuela, to the East we have Suriname and to the South we have Brazil and French Guiana, but in the heart of the Guiana Shield – and the Guiana Shield is bigger than Greenland, is a place called Guyana and the heart of Guyana is Iwokrama….We have a product that is going to be viewed by your children and grandchildren and they will be proud of what we have and people are paying good money for us to keep our trees,” President Granger said.
The Head of State also told the gathering that the evidence of Guyana’s role as an important partner in the global environmental movement can be seen in the agreements which have been brokered with the Kingdom of Norway, the Kingdom of the Netherlands, the Federal Republic of Germany, the State of Japan and other states and international organisations for the protection of its forests. He noted too that these funding and partnerships will create opportunities for investments in the country, areas, he said, in which the diaspora can become involved.
He also noted that while Guyana will soon become an oil producing State and many believe that there is a conflict of interest in pursuing a ‘green’ agenda, the petroleum is simply a ‘bonus’ which can assist in financing projects and programmes, which will benefit the citizens, particularly the youth population.
“A lot of what will come from petroleum will go into the Sovereign Wealth Fund so that your children wouldn’t have to drop out of school, wouldn’t have to worry about employment because the money is not going to be squandered…so from every point of view, economic, environmental, employment of our young people, we feel that we are on the right course. So Guyana is the place to retire, this is the place to come and invest in these new industries. You have legitimate concerns, but internally we are engaging with the United Kingdom to implement the security reform plan, we are having more mounted police, we are acquiring additional assets so that our policemen and army can patrol our territory better… Guyana is going to be a much safer place than it [now] is,” the President assured.