Persaud dubs draft National Biodiversity Strategy “Vision-less”

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By Kurt Campbell

A section of the gathering at the consultation. [iNews' Photo]
A section of the gathering at the consultation. [iNews’ Photo]
[www.inewsguyana.com] – Natural Resources and Environment Minister Robert Persaud believes that the draft version of Guyana’s Third National Biodiversity Strategy and Action Plan (NBSAP), is vision-less and implored stakeholders to do more to ensure it caters to needs of Guyanese and fulfill international obligations.

Persaud was speaking at a consultation organized by the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) as part of the national focal point to the United Nations Convention on Biological Diversity (UNCBD) this morning (Tuesday, July 15).

The Minister pointed out that while a lot has been done with respect to protecting and preserving Guyana’s biodiversity, more needs to be done to ensure that the new strategy and action plan is futuristic.

“I am deliberately being provocative because I don’t just want you to accept what is before you, I am personally not satisfied, its needs to be innovative,” Persaud told those gathered.

He said there was need for the document to take into account current and future economic activity. The Minister said he was very happy to see the diverse participation which the consultation attracted. Among those present were several Regional Chairpersons and members of government, environmental and biodiversity institutions.

He acknowledged that a lot has been done to put Guyana in a good position in relation to the protection and sustaining biodiversity, some of which have gone unnoticed.

“We will continue to press on because it is not about getting recognition; it is about getting the job done.”EPA consultation

He pointed to existing policies such as the Low Carbon development Strategy and the many protocols and conventions which Guyana has signed onto.

The consultation sought to update on Guyana’s efforts at meeting obligations to the UNCBD; present the revised NBSAP; seek stakeholders’ feedback based on their review of the revised NBSAP and seek stakeholder inputs on the implementation of the NBSAP.

As an obligation to the CBD, parties are required to revise their Action Plans. Previously, this document was called the National Biodiversity Action Plan (NBAP), however, the current revision includes a strategy. The objective in doing so is to integrate Guyana’s obligations to the CBD into the national development and sectoral planning frameworks through a renewed and participative ‘biodiversity planning’ and strategizing process.

The overall goal of the NBSAP is to promote and achieve the conservation of Guyana’s biodiversity, to use its components in a sustainable way and to encourage the fair and equitable sharing of benefits arising out of the use of Guyana’s biodiversity.

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