As the Government of Guyana moves ahead with the preparation of the Green State Development Strategy (GSDS), the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) and United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP) are providing technical support to align and mainstream the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) into the GSDS.
To this end, a workshop organized by the Ministry of the Presidency, Department of Environment with support from the Ministry of Finance was held at the Marriott Hotel on 15th and 16th March 2018. The workshop saw a gathering of participants representing the inter-Ministerial and multi-stakeholder Advisory Committee, members of the seven GSDS multi-stakeholder thematic expert groups, GSDS consultants, partners and senior government representatives.
The workshop outlined the first draft of the GSDS Theory of Change and guided participants on multidimensional approaches to mainstreaming the 2030 Agenda, including use and application of three important tools: Theory of Change; systematic thinking / multidimensional, multi-actor approaches; and identification of accelerators to prioritize policy interventions with a bigger impact.
The proceedings were facilitated by Gonzalo Pizarro, UNDP’s Regional Policy Adviser, Agenda 2030 and Development Planning, Sustainable Development and Resilience and Ivan Gonzalez de Alba, Regional Policy Adviser, Poverty Reduction and Sustainable Development.
Hon. Joseph Harmon, Minister of State, reaffirmed Government’s commitment to the process noting the alignment of the SDGs with the GSDS as a crucial policy area. He explained that the GSDS is not just another document, but rather, is the vision and the expression of the ambition of the people of Guyana for a prosperous future in a sustainable environment.
Minister Harmon said that “Guyana aspires to transition into a decarbonized and resource efficient economy that values and integrates the multi-ethnicity of our country and enhances the quality of life for all Guyanese. Guyana’s commitment to the 2030 Agenda is unequivocal.”
Finance Secretary, Ministry of Finance, Dr. Hector Butts in his remarks noted that the GSDS must be used to guide policy development and in particular inform the contents of the National Budget. He reminded participants that the bottom line is “well-being”.
Delivering the welcome and opening remarks, Director of the Department of Environment, Ndibi Schwiers explained that GSDS is intended to be the vehicle to drive Guyana’s attainment of Agenda 2030 for Sustainable Development, reflecting the objectives of the country and well-being of all Guyanese.
She posited that the exercise started in 2017 and as a first step in this direction, a Rapid Integrated Assessment (RIA) was performed to establish how well Guyana’s existing planning documents and the framework of the GSDS reflect the subjects, ambition and scope of the SDGs. It is against this backdrop the workshop was organized.
UN Resident Coordinator and UNDP Resident Representative, Mikiko Tanaka reminded the audience that the seventeen (17) SDGs are ambitious and transformational in their principle of leaving no one behind and once incorporated in the GSDS, countless benefits can be derived.
Ms. Tanaka explained “Guyana’s Green State Development Strategy is for Guyana but is also a contribution to the world. We all need to work together in broader and deeper partnerships that will let us foster social progress, protect the environment, drive economic growth and create a more just, stable and peaceful world.”
UNDP’s Deputy Resident Representative, Shabnam Mallick explained that the workshop is part of a longer process that UNDP is supporting towards formulating the GSDS. She said that UNDP has the knowledge base and tools to support the development of the Theory of Change for the GSDS and identification of its targets.
The next steps will include the validation of the targets and the final formulation of GSDS document, for which a group of consultants will be working on soon.
The GSDS is Guyana’s long term national development strategy which is anchored in the principles of an inclusive green economy model.
View the workshop image gallery here.