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President touts rigorous environmental laws

Rear Admirat (Ret’d) Gary Best.

by Zena Henry

President David Granger is touting the responsible exploitation of the nation’s resources as his government intends to explore extensively the country’s natural assets.

The President is adamant that the country needs to take advantage of its natural goods but in a way that creates a “Green Guyana.”

During his address at the recent re-opening of Parliament Wednesday June 10, President Granger noted that the, “government envisions a Green Guyana.”  

“We shall exploit Guyana’s favourble geographic location and abundant assets in order to develop a green economy; one that generates human happiness in ways that are consistent with the economic exploitation of its natural resources.”

The President said that a green economy is one that sustains economic prosperity, environmental security and social wellbeing. “It will allow the current generation to satisfy its needs without jeopardizing opportunity for future generations to satisfy theirs.”

The President vowed to confront challenges of solid waste management, climate change, coastal zone protection, flooding, public health and damage of the rivers and forest by the poorly regulated mining and logging practices.

“We shall produce a strategy to protect the population from hazards, to preserve the environment from further degradation and to sustain economic development.”

As promised on the campaign trail, the President said, “Your government will introduce a energy policy that utilizes our wind, water and solar power, to provide cheap renewable electricity to more Guyanese in our urban rural, river and hinterland communities.”

“We shall support the responsible exploitation of the hinterland minerals and other natural resources. We shall ensure however, that the livelihood of the residents of those areas is sustained and that the environment is protected by the rigorous enforcement of environmental legislation.”

In opposition, the current government had called for the establishment of a “comprehensive, national environment strategy” to protect the population from hazards and to preserve the environment and to commence the creation a green economy in the shortest time.

Granger at that time, noted that the country’s biggest problem is air and water pollution, deforestation, coastal zone conservation, flooding, marine litter, public health, solid waste management and damage to rivers and forests. He had insisted that the expansion of the mining sector was need for concern in relation to best environmental practices and meaningful stakeholder consultations.

Former Guyana Defence Force Chief of Staff, Rear Admiral Gary Best has been selected Presidential advisor to President Granger on environmental issues.