Guyana is a middle-income country in South America endowed with natural resources, fertile agricultural land and extensive forests. As a natural resource-based economy, the country is highly susceptible to climate change and fluctuations in global commodity prices. Petroleum discovered off the coast in vast quantities offers the potential for rapid industrial development and increased revenues but comes with environmental, governance and economic risks.

The PAGE partnership with Guyana began in 2017, linked to the development and implementation of the Green State Development Strategy: Vision 2040.Through this Strategy, which was received by the President in May 2019, the Government is pursuing 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 is coupled with promoting social equity and strengthening the economy’s ecological foundations.

PAGE support to the Green State Development Strategy, through its Green Economy Modelling Study and focus on building stakeholder and institutional capacity, contributes towards the achievement of SDGs 8, 9, 13 and 17, as well as Guyana’s Nationally Determined Contribution (NDC) to the Paris Agreement – in relation to developing the country’s renewable energy potential.

This has contributed to several Sustainable Development Goals, including:

 Learn more about PAGE work in Guyana in our 2019 Annual Report

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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, Guyana is developing an online platform for monitoring, evaluating and reporting on the Vision 2040, the SDGs and the Paris Agreement. 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 has completed work to increase the availability of data to identify green investment opportunities and measure progress towards attainment. This supports SDG 17, targets 17.18 and 17.19, by increasing the availability of data and measurements of the progress towards the SDGs:

  • Modelling green economy scenarios: 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. From 2020, work will be conducted to model SDG and Green State Development Strategy targets to identify investment requirements in the education sector.

Measuring green economy progress

PAGE is supporting the development of a green economy progress measurement framework, composing of a GE progress index and a sustainability dashboard, through the provision of stakeholder consultations, training and a calculations exercise in collaboration with the Ministry of Finance.

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 that was validated at a workshop in December 2018 with the Ministries of Finance and Business, the Department of Environment and the Private Sector Commission among others. 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. The assessment subsequently provided inputs to the finalization of the Green State Development Strategy. PAGE support for green industry contributes to SDG 9, target 9.2 by promoting inclusive and sustainable industrialization, 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 on green economy initiatives. This contributes to SDG 8, target 8.3, by supporting entrepreneurship, creativity and innovation.

Sustainable Agriculture

In 2020 PAGE is supporting follow-up work to the Green Industry Trade Assessment on waste management and resource efficiency in the agricultural sector as well as providing inputs to a scoping study on fiscal policy reforms and the development of a fiscal reform strategy for sustainable agriculture, linked to the Agricultural Ministry’s new Agriculture Sector Strategy 2020-2030. This will be accompanied by targeted capacity building activities in fiscal policies and trade and industrial policy. Finally, PAGE will provide technical support in the analysis of access to finance and the promotion of innovative schemes that respond to the needs of the coconut value chain. 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 mobilisation 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

Several capacity building activities have been undertaken to build the individual, and in turn, institutional capacity of the following stakeholder groups:

  • Government officials: 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.
  • The 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.
  • General public: A total of five Green Conversations have been held throughout 2018 and 2019 in various locations across Guyana; these are 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. 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 continue during the implementation of the Green State Development Strategy. 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. This supports SDG 17, target 17.6, by enhancing international cooperation and knowledge sharing.

COUNTRY FOCAL POINTS

Lead Agency Focal PointSantiago Dunne (UNEP)
National CoordinatorDeirdre Shurland (UNEP)
Partner Agency Focal PointsGiuliano Montanari (UNITAR)
Paolo Sales Barbosa (UNIDO)
Tim Scott (UNDP)
Marek Harsdorff (ILO)
Government Focal PointsSonya Roopnauth, Office of Budget, Ministry of Finance
Ndibi Schwiers, Director, Department of Environment