Earth Day is reminder to invest, protect our environment – President Ali
– reiterates Guyana’s commitment to global pledges to protect planet
Guyana joined the international community on Friday to celebrate World Earth Day and according to President Dr Irfaan Ali, the country is committed to pledges that aim to protect and preserve the planet.
World Earth Day 2022 was observed under the theme “Invest in Our Planet”.
In his message to commemorate this occasion, President Ali said Earth Day is celebrated to demonstrate support for environmental protection and allows persons around the world to educate themselves, reflect and take actions to address environmental issues.
“It reminds us that the environment we live in requires our protection… This Earth Day, let us act, innovate and implement by reducing pollution, reducing climate change impacts and conserving and restoring ecosystems. We need to invest in our plant and build a prosperous and equitable future,” the Guyanese Leader said.
According to the Head of State, the environment is the life support and natural capital of humans, and from it, they can forge a stronger and cleaner future. He stressed that the healthier ecosystems are then the healthier the planet and its people can be.
However, the President pointed out that in recent decades, environmental problems have increased because of human activities and this has now resulted in risks from climate change, pollution, flooding, and drought. To this end, he contended that investing in the restoration and protection of nature is critically important in helping to combat climate change, stem biodiversity loss, and slow the depletion of essential resources such as freshwater and soil.
“As we examine our economic approaches, it is important to invest in support and innovative solutions through new technologies and new markets. It is also essential to invest in smarter regulation and innovative business models to help support a low-carbon trajectory, one that not only has a reduced impact on the climate and our natural resources, but also works with the environment and harnesses its natural capital as a source of sustainable, inclusive growth.”
Moreover, the Guyanese leader posited that urgent action is needed to safeguard the planet, ecosystems, soils, forests, and waterways.
President Ali noted that Guyana is already playing its part in this regard. With the country having the second-highest percentage of forest cover on earth, he said his Government is currently working with partners to sustain 99.5 per cent of it while building the foundation for a new low-carbon, ecosystem economy.
“The Government of Guyana is committed to supporting environmental protection and delivering global and national environmental commitments for a transformative and sustainable economy through the Low Carbon Development Strategy (LCDS) 2030.”
“Guyana’s LCDS sets out a vision for inclusive and sustainable development while simultaneously maintaining the country’s forests, to help meet some of the most urgent challenges the world faces through the creation of incentives for a low-carbon economy; protection against climate change and biodiversity loss and stimulate future growth for clean energy and low carbon development.”
Guyana, along with a number of other countries, gave its full support at the United Nations 26th Conference of Parties (COP26), held in Glasgow, Scotland, last November, to play its part in protecting against climate change,
In fact, over 130 leaders, representing more than 90 per cent of the world’s forests, have committed to work together to halt and reverse forest loss and land degradation by 2030 in the Glasgow Leaders’ Declaration on Forests and Land Use. Countries have also committed to the funding pledge of US$12 billion between 2021 and 2025 to finance forest-related matters.
The Ali-led Administration published the revised LCDS 2030 that seeks to create a new low-carbon economy in Guyana through various initiatives including the sale of the country’s carbon credits – an initiative that previously saw the country earning some US$212.52 million in forest service payments from Norway. That arrangement was executed by former President and now Vice President Bharrat Jagdeo.
The current Government now plans to put at least 8 million carbon credits on the market for sale by July of this year. A carbon credit is a tradable permit or certificate that allows the holder of the credit the right to emit a stated tonnage of carbon dioxide or an equivalent of another greenhouse gas.
Countries and companies that exceed their permitted limits can purchase carbon credits from other nations that have low emissions such as Guyana. Guyana’s 18.4 million hectares of largely pristine forest stores approximately 5.31 gigatons of carbon.