The United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) is assisting Guyana to build technical capacity to meet and sustain its obligations under the UN Convention on Biological Diversity (UNCBD), the UN Convention to Combat Desertification and Drought (UNCCD) and, the UN Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC)
The UNDP had its first meeting yesterday with stakeholders in the environmental sector and focal point representatives of these conventions to outline the project. The project launch was held at the UNDP’s Brickdam office in Georgetown.
The four year project seeks to address the challenges local focal points for the Rio Conventions face by strengthening institutional and technical capacities, improving awareness of global environmental values and updating the National Capacity Self-Assessment.
These make up the four components of the project of which the highlight will be the setting up of an Environmental Information Monitoring and Management System (EIMMS). This integrated database seeks to reconcile content with policies in line with the objectives of the Rio Conventions.
Head of the Office of Climate Change, Janelle Christian, said the EIMMS will address the challenges of coordinating information gathered and collaboration between ministries and agencies. The Office of Climate Change is the focal point for the UNCBD.
The challenges highlighted by Christian were similar for the other focal points.
The Guyana Lands and Surveys Commission is the focal point for the UNCCD and the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) is the focal point for the UN Convention on Bio Diversity.
Director of the Department of Environment, Ndibi Schwiers, which is the executing entity for the projects, said the project is timely. “The general theme of the project captures the necessity for improved coordination, better data or information, management, improved monitoring and strengthened institutional mechanism,” Schwiers said.
The project seeks to continue Guyana’s past efforts to adhere to the Rio Conventions and is being funded by the Global Environment Facility (GEF) at the cost of US$2.3M.
Guyana became a signatory to the Rio Conventions in 1992.