Guyana is a middle-income country endowed with abundant natural resources, fertile agricultural land and extensive forests that cover around 87 % of the country. Agriculture (including forestry and fisheries) and mining are key sectors in Guyana’s economy, each accounting for 20% of real GDP. As a natural resource-based economy, the country’s economic development is susceptible to climate change and fluctuations in global commodity prices. The new Government administration recognizes the importance of taking measures to support sustainable developmentminimize environmental degradation and respond to the climate agenda (mitigation and adaptation) through its Low Carbon Development Strategy (2013).  

The PAGE partnership with Guyana began in 2017 under the previous Government administration, linked to the development and implementation of national ‘green state’ policy with a long-term economic and socio-cultural vision and strategy for national development. The newly elected Government Administration (August 2020) has reprioritized the Low Carbon Development Strategywhich was a key building block for the prior green state policy. These policy frameworks aim to promote value-added processing for traditional sectors such as agriculture, while also generating sustainable income and investment opportunities in future growth sectors, including tourism, fruits and vegetables, and business process outsourcing.  

This has contributed to several Sustainable Development Goals, including:

Looking forward 

With a new Government sworn in on 2 August 2020, PAGE activities have been taken forward in line with the reprised Low Carbon Development Strategy (LCDS 2013), placing emphasis on green recovery and low carbon development, in the areas of job creation, renewable energy, climate mitigation and adaptation, among others.  

To support Guyana in its green economic recovery from the COVID-19 crisis, PAGE is supporting the finance and economic recovery group of the Guyana National Emergency Operations Centre (NEOC) and providing input for the UN System COVID-19 Socio-economic Assessment for Guyana. PAGE will also support the LCDS, which places an emphasis on COVID-19 response and recovery. 

Learn more about PAGE work in Guyana in our 2020 Annual Report

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Key thematic & sectoral areas

  • National development planning 

  • Industry & Trade 

  • Green Jobs 

  • Sustainable agriculture

Capacity building

  • Training on system dynamics green economy modelling 

  • Green Fiscal Policy Workshop 

  • Media training on effective green economy messaging 

  • Green Jobs Assessment Modeling 

  • Green Industry and Trade Assessment 

Guyana & PAGE by numbers

Policies supported: 3 

Assessments: 2

Consultations and workshops: 16 

Initiatives providing co-financing: 1

Learn more

NATIONAL POLICYMAKING

NATIONAL POLICYMAKING

PAGE has established itself as a partnership mechanism to support dialogue and provide technical expertise, contributing to the government’s national strategy and vision. Key support areas are highlighted below:

Creating a national development vision

PAGE supported the finalization of the Green State Development Strategy, holding discussions with various ministers and a wide group of stakeholders and supporting public outreach sessions with civil society throughout 2018 and 2019 known as Green Conversations. The government’s commitment to this Strategy’s Vision 2040 has been highlighted across several national and international fora, including in its 2019 Budget Speech and at the 2019 High-Level Political Forum and UNFCCC COP25 event. In 2020, work commenced to develop an online platform for monitoring, evaluating and reporting on the Vision 2040, the SDGs and the Paris Agreement. Following the March 2020 general elections, a new Government took office in August 2020 and set its policy priorities for the next five years in line with its reprised Low Carbon Development Strategy with an emphasis on COVID-19 response and recovery, job creation, renewable energy, climate mitigation and adaptation, among others. This contributes to SDG 13, target 13.2 by integrating climate change measures into national policies, strategies and planning. It also supports SDG 17, targets 17.14 and 17.16 by enhancing policy coherence and developing country-owned frameworks and tools. 

Creating valuable data to support transition

PAGE work on medium-term system dynamics modelling of green economy scenarios across agriculture, energy, forestry and road infrastructure was finalized and synthesized into a “Summary Report for Policy-Makers” released in September 2019. A subsequent phase of integrated modelling is planned to further analyze investment needs, largely through the lens of infrastructure to attain national sustainable development targets. PAGE work to increase the availability of data to identify green investment opportunities and measure progress towards attainment supports SDG 17, targets 17.18 and 17.19.

Measuring green economy progress

PAGE is supporting the development of a green economy progress measurement framework, composing of a green economy progress index and a sustainability dashboard, through the provision of stakeholder consultations, training and a calculations exercise in collaboration with the Ministry of Finance. Towards the end of 2020, UNDP with the Ministry of Finance started work focused on the development of an online platform for monitoring and reporting on national development plans, the SDGs and the goals of the Paris Agreement. This contributes towards SDG 17, targets 17.18 and 17.19, by increasing the availability of data and measurements of progress towards the SDGs.

SECTORAL AND THEMATIC REFORM

SECTORAL AND THEMATIC REFORM

PAGE has commenced several activities to support the sectoral and thematic priority areas identified in the Green State Development Strategy, summarised below:

Green industry and trade

To support the development of green industry in Guyana, PAGE conducted a Green Industry Trade Assessment in December 2018. The assessment plays a crucial role in identifying both potential policy reforms and new policies to support the transition to green industrial production and trade, and subsequently provided inputs to the finalization of the Green State Development Strategy. Furthermore, in 2020 PAGE commenced the development of efficiency and waste management guidelines in collaboration with the Ministry of Agriculture to support a more resource efficient and competitive fruits and vegetable value chain, particularly for coconuts. PAGE support for green industry contributes to SDG 9, target 9.2 by promoting inclusive and sustainable industrialisation, as well as SDG 17, target 17.11, by promoting exports for developing countries.

Green jobs

In 2018, PAGE began work on a Green Jobs Assessment Model, with the current focus on data analysis and capacity-building. When completed in 2021, this will provide an economy-wide analysis of the sectors with the greatest potential for employment and fair work, assessing gaps and analytical challenges, while also identifying measures to protect the environment. This supports SDG 8, target 8.5, by promoting decent work for all, as well as SDG 17, target 17.14, by enhancing policy coherence across economic, social and environmental dimensions. 

Green entrepreneurship and small business

In October 2018, PAGE co-organized the Guyana International Small Business Expo and Summit, participated in plenary sessions in the Green Expo, and sponsored a booth for the display of agro-processing products of an indigenous women’s group. The event provided small-scale entrepreneurs with an opportunity to showcase green and innovative products, as well as a platform for representatives from 16 countries to exchange information and experiences in green economy initiatives. This contributes to SDG 8, target 8.3, by supporting entrepreneurship, creativity and innovation. 

Sustainable Agriculture

PAGE, led by UNEP, is specifically supporting the development of a fiscal policy strategy and road map in collaboration with the Ministry of Agriculture and the Ministry of Finance, to incentivize the transformation to more sustainable agriculture, decent jobs and better working conditions. In 2020, this work was launched in September with a scoping study on fiscal policy reforms for sustainable agriculture. The fiscal policy is linked to the Agriculture Ministry’s new Sector Strategy 2020-2030 and complemented by capacity-building activities on fiscal policies and trade and industrial policy. These activities will contribute to SDG 8, target 8.3, by supporting green productive activities and SDG 17, targets 17.14 and 17.15, by enhancing policy coherence, encouraging domestic resource mobilization and promoting investment.

STRENGTHENING CAPACITY

STRENGTHENING CAPACITY

PAGE has supported capacity building in Guyana, focussing not only on training of government stakeholders, but also the media, civil society and the wider public. This will help to build momentum for green economy policies and create ownership of a shared vision.

Building individual capacity

Capacity-building activities in Guyana aim to build the individual, and in turn, the institutional capacity of various stakeholder groups.

  • Green economy modelling: PAGE has built the capacity of staff at the Ministry of Finance to use system dynamics modelling, holding three training events in February 2018 and one in March 2019. A total of about 30 staff have been trained to date. This contributes to SDG 17, target 17.9, by supporting capacity for planning and implementing the SDGs.
  • Fiscal policy: As part of Guyana’s Green Economy Week in March 2019, 22 participants attended a first green fiscal policy workshop, exploring the role and benefits of green fiscal policies for incentivizing economic restructuring and transformation.
  • Media: Media training was conducted as part of Green Economy Week in March 2019, with a total of 10 media professionals trained. PAGE work in this area supports SDG 13, target 13.3, by improving education, awareness-raising and human and institutional capacity on climate change.
  • Green industry and trade: In collaboration with the University of Guyana, in December 2020 PAGE delivered a virtual training to build awareness and capacity for green industry and trade targeting senior staff of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, the Ministry of Industry, Commerce and Tourism, Ministry of Finance, Ministry of Agriculture and the private sector, among other stakeholders.
  • General public: A total of five Green Conversations – high profile, public and media events that provide an open, non-partisan, inclusive space for Guyanese to learn about and engage with green development issues – have been held throughout 2018 and 2019 in various locations across Guyana. These events have drawn a combined audience of approximately 200 with an online reach of more than 12,000 participants through live streaming. The events facilitated information sharing from an internationally renowned expert on key themes. The Green Conversations are now an established brand that will be continued during the implementation of national green economy policies. This work has contributed to SDG 17, targets 17.16 and 17.17, by promoting knowledge sharing and fostering effective partnerships.

South-South collaboration

Guyana was invited by China’s Foreign Environmental Cooperation Centre of Ministry of Ecology and Environment to participate in a 15-day training course on Climate Change and Green & Low Carbon Development in Beijing in December 2019. One staff member from the Department of Environment attended to learn best practices via courses and field trips, exchange experiences and boost South-South cooperation. Furthermore, as part of its preparatory work with the Ministry of Finance for the development of an online platform that will facilitate monitoring and reporting on national development plans and policy targets, discussions have involved outreach to other UNDP offices in Jamaica and Chile to facilitate South-South cooperation among Ministries of Finance through ‘virtual study tours’. This supports SDG 17, target 17.6, by enhancing international cooperation and knowledge sharing.

COUNTRY FOCAL POINTS

Coordinating Agency Focal PointSantiago Dunne (UNEP)
PAGE Project CoordinatorDeirdre Shurland (UNEP)
Government Focal PointsSonya Roopnauth, Office of Budget, Ministry of Finance
Ndibi Schwiers, Director, Department of Environment