Georgetown, Guyana — The Office of Climate Change (OCC), today, opened a three-day Greenhouse Gas Inventory Workshop in preparation for the Third National Communication (TNC), which will fulfill Guyana’s reporting requirements to the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC). It is also aimed at building capacity in Guyana at the technical and institutional levels and will see further integration of climate change priorities in Guyana’s national development
strategies. This forum targets one of the TNC’s four main components, Greenhouse Gas – Inventory. The other three components, Mitigation Assessment, National Baseline Assessment, and Vulnerability and Adaptation, will to be targeted at later dates. The workshop is being held at Herdmanston Lodge, Queenstown.
Head of the Office of the OCC, Ms. Janelle Christian said that the workshop’s ultimate goal is to see the rise of a group of experts in data collection for Greenhouse Gas Inventory (GHG-I). ”As a country, the expectation is that we have a mechanism where we institutionalise the process for preparation of our Greenhouse Gas Inventory. This requires having… [a] cadre of national experts who are trained, not only to prepare our own Greenhouse Gas Inventory… but [who] can then have those experts sit at the highest level of decision-making under the framework… either as reviewers or editors of similar reports. That is the ambition that we have set [for] ourselves. Guyana would like to be among the first countries to actively take forward [this] mechanism,” she said.
Ms. Christian also said the persons trained at the workshop will improve all of Guyana’s climate-based reporting. “While it may seem ambitious, it is possible… We need to start the process of building in-country capacity. It will also help the Office of Climate Change to not choose random individuals when the requests come to our office for the selection of… technical officers for training overseas on the UNFCCC Framework and other projects… We can only make a mark if we can build on those actions and steps taken previously [and] consistently. We will not be able to get where we want to go if… we have to select some random person. There wouldn’t be any traction. So, the expectation is that these… individuals will be the pool that we will [select from] to ensure that… we have three or more experts… [who can] confidently be given the responsibility of preparing the report,” she said.
In an invited comment, National Project Coordinator, Mr. Marlon Velloza said that the workshop and subsequent GHC-I findings will provide valuable information that could catalyse Guyana’s ‘green’ agenda. “This is not just to fulfill our obligations to the UNFCCC, but it is also a good practice for a developing country to be aware of… the main emissions, or the main factors that are contributing to greenhouse gas emissions and… the other factors that are contributing the net sink…,” he said.
Mr. Velloza also encouraged the public to get educated and involved in ‘green’ initiatives. “If sea levels rise, we are more vulnerable to flooding and with that comes health risks and a whole host of other issues, such as impacts to people’s livelihoods. If farmlands are flooded, then obviously crops can’t grow…If we can’t grow our crops, then obviously we can’t get food… There are a number of ripple effects. This is everyone’s business and it’s important that everyone is onboard and understand the implications of what we’re doing here today,” he said.
Mr. Anit Garg, a professor residing in India, who is conducting sessions for the workshop via Skype, encouraged the participants to absorb what is being taught at the workshop in order to become experts themselves. “Our responsibility… is to prepare the national experts [so that] they can prepare their own inventories next time… This is a hands-on experience, not only a training which can become very boring… So we will be working with the experts on a day-to-day basis… [to] understand their concerns and also try to resolve their concerns so [that] it becomes long term capacity-building,” he said.
The workshop also features Skype sessions by Dr. Indu Murthy, who resides in India as well. At the end of the three days, Professor Garg hopes to test and provide certification to those who have completed the workshop. The TNC is due for submission in 2019.