Guyana has an excellent opportunity to be one of the best resource-rich countries. However, it needs to reorganize creative institutional approaches, while establishing and adhering to accepted principles, values and norms for achieving sustainable development. The big picture should focus on What’s the future for Sustainable Development should look like in Guyana and the Caribbean? My response assumes a long term 20-50 year perspective with emphasis on the acceleration of a low carbon and climate resilient agenda aligning oil and gas and a green economy. It straddles three areas: Governance and Institutions; Social Justice and Sustainable Business Approach.
Governance and Institution Strengthening
The overall focus ought to be on a broader sustainable development approach including the economic, social and environmental. Therefore legislative, administrative and institutional reforms are critical to effective governance towards Guyana becoming a model for climate change.
The Necessary Enabling Conditions
The development of reforms is one dimension. However, their effective implementation requires a series of enabling conditions, among them access to resources: equity, diversity, inclusivity
Greater participation and inclusion would also reduce management conflicts by fostering multi-stakeholder participation in the development of international investment agreements, not necessarily on the details but on the broad components which can include various stakeholders, for example civil society. In this regard, Canada provides a good example of devising and implementing environmental protection policies.
Sustainable Business Approach
A sustainable approach to business and investment is critical. It will need to focus on integrated policies, strategies, and programmes in the economic, social and environment approaches to sustainable development. Lessons to be learned exist in some private sector examples. These include the Business Roundtable which consists over 200 top corporations in the United States formed in 2019; United Nations Global Compact. Most appropriate however, is the CARICOM option for an energy partnership between Guyana, Trinidad and Tobago and Suriname. (Please see link https://villagevoicenews.com/2021/10/28/proposed-guyana-trinidad-and-tobago-and-suriname-regional-energy-partnership/)
My response to the question -- What would you like to tell Caribbean leaders and their delegations to COP 26-- is that emphasis should be placed on:
About the author Ms. Audreyanna Thomas is Managing Director - Global Perspective Inc. (GPI) in Guyana and former steering committee member of the SIDS Water Supply and Sanitation Collaborative Council (WSSCC). She has been engaged in research in foreign direct investment, cross sectoral governance, the rule of law, human rights and gender in Oil and Gas/extractive industries with special reference to Guyana’s economic transition. She holds a Bachelor’s in Communications from UG and a post graduate degree from Loyola, University Chicago and post graduate attachment to and University of Cambridge, UK.
Edward and Auriol Greene Directors, GOFAD.