Advancing green development pathways in Guyana

9-13 March 2019, Georgetown, Guyana – The Guyana Green Economy Week featured a series of technical workshops, bringing together representatives from the Ministry of Finance, the Guyana Revenue Authority, Ministry of Business, private sector, the media, the national chamber of commerce, donors, representatives of civil society organizations and research institutes among others. PAGE was represented by delegations from UNITAR and UN Environment.  

The workshops included a media training under the theme “Green Economy Concepts for Communications”, an economic modelling workshop, a green fiscal policies workshop as well as Green Conversations public event. The latter, convened in collaboration with a local partner, Conservation International (Guyana), explained green economy concepts to the general public under the theme, ‘International Best Practices in Inclusive Green Economy Transition.’

The Green State Development Strategy: Vision 2040 will be launched in 2019 as the main policy tool ensuring that Guyana’s development pathway promotes economic diversification and growth, social inclusiveness, and sustainable management of natural resources. Through the strategy and its recommended policy instruments, such as the establishment of the Natural Resources Fund, the income generated by the public sector from newly discovered oil reserves can be reinvested in green policies to encourage the transition and accomplish the objectives by 2040, and which will benefit all Guyanese over the long term.

With this in mind, PAGE recognises the crucial role of the media as a key partner in the implementation of the Green State Development Strategy: Vision 2040 faithfully explaining the concepts and communicating good lessons and achievements to stakeholders in Guyana. Public awareness and understanding are essential for achieving buy-in and to appreciate long and short-term benefits. To this end, the media were instructed in effective green economy messaging of relevance to Guyana, as well as on how to identify and access trustworthy sources of information on green economy.

The two-day Green Economy Modelling workshop introduced System Dynamics Modelling methods and approaches to participants. The Workshop reviewed the modeling work undertaken in Guyana and provided a summary of the key results, running simulation exercises, whilst also interpreting results and Cost Benefit Analyses (CBA).

PAGE contributed to the elaboration of the Green State Development Strategy: Vision 2040 by funding studies in economic modelling including assessments on the feasibility of green economy initiatives; green jobs, and green industry and trade assessments. In addition to presenting the findings of the modelling studies in the Strategy, PAGE work has also assessed the economic, social and environmental impacts of selected green policies. Guyana’s Economic Modelling Study (GEMS) used System Dynamics methods that assessed the impacts of a transfer of investments from Business-as-Usual (BAU) to green economy scenarios and how these affect a range of economic, social and environmental indicators. The modelling study evaluated the impact of the selected green policies in four priority sectors - energy, agriculture, forestry and road transport, to 2040. 

Delivering the Green State Development Strategy: Vision 2040 requires the mobilization of significant investments in infrastructure (transport, ICT, energy), health, education and other priority areas. According to estimates in Guyana’s GEMS, investment needed for green economy interventions in the four key sectors amount to GYD 1.05 trillion between 2018 and 2040, equal to 2.7 per cent of GDP. Green fiscal policies can play an important role in this context. 

By reflecting externalities in prices, mobilizing revenues, creating a fiscal space for green investment and broader fiscal reform, adopting green fiscal policies can support Guyana in the transition to an inclusive and sustainable long-term growth path. 

The Green Fiscal Policies workshop explored the role and benefits of green fiscal policies in addressing environmental externalities by including for example, resource use prices, which can promote shifts in producer and consumer behaviors and in mobilizing public and private revenues to support policy implementation. The Workshop consisted of a series of presentations, videos, interactive group exercises and knowledge sharing on green fiscal policies across different sectors. PAGE is discussing with the Government of Guyana how it can continue to provide support for on-going analysis of green fiscal options.

The final activity of Green Economy Week was a “Green Conversations” public event with the objective to continue the series of conversations with the public begun in 2018 in the context of the Green State Development Strategy: Vision 2040 and on green economy principles. Speakers featured international green economy experts from UN Environment discussing international cases where green economy principles and carbon taxes were effectively applied.

PAGE will continue to support the implementation of the Strategy in Guyana and to help its people to progress along the pathway to a green economy.