The Office of Climate Change (OCC), which falls under the purview of the Ministry of the Presidency, this morning, hosted its third and final workshop to gather feedback from key stakeholders on the proposed Country Work Programme. The one-day Elaboration of the Country Work Programme for Engagement with the Green Climate Fund (GCF) Validation Workshop saw the participation of stakeholders from over 20 government and non-governmental organisations at the Herdmanston Lodge Hotel, Anira Street, Georgetown.
The workshop’s long-term goal is to access funding from the Green Climate Fund (GCF). Once the feedback has been received, the finalised proposed Country Work Programme will be submitted to the National Designated Authority (NDA), who is the Minister of State, Mr. Joseph Harmon, for approval. With Minister Harmon’s approval, the proposal can then be submitted to the Green Climate Fund (GCF) to be reviewed, and hopefully approved, for funding.
Head of the Office of Climate Change, Ms. Janelle Christian, who has been spearheading the two-year effort to ensure Guyana’s eligibility for funding, assured the participants that Guyana is making significant strides in the climate change arena although it has taken some time. “Many times we are hard on ourselves with respect to the pace at which we go to address the challenges that we face as a nation, but we are proud to say that for the [Caribbean Community] CARICOM countries, Guyana was the first to have been approved by the GCF for readiness preparation and support of the [National Designated Authority] NDA,” she said.
Ms. Christian urged the stakeholders to be forthcoming with their feedback, so as to ensure that a final programme, which covers the interest of all of Guyana’s sectors, can be fully developed. “Today, we would like for you to be as objective as you can be… Much of what has been included in the... initial set of… ideas that have been put forward for engagement with the GCF would have come from lead technical officers from the respective sectoral agencies. So, this is by no means what the Office of Climate Change [or] the Project Management Office [within the Ministry of the Presidency]… would have arbitrarily put together on our own, but it would have been informed through these consultations [and] workshops,” she said.
Head of the Project Management Office (PMO) within the Ministry of the Presidency, Dr. Marlon Bristol said that the finalisation and approval of the proposed Country Work Programme is a crucial step in achieving President David Granger’s ‘Green’ State vision for Guyana. “The GCF… is one of the additional windows for resource mobilisation in the development of, what His Excellency calls, the ‘Green’ State… This workshop really marks a penultimate end to the consultation process for, at least, the projects [that] we would want to see financed… We definitely welcome the opportunity to mobilise the resources that will help to see us bring forward to realisation, the ‘Green’ State and we also welcome the opportunity of [stakeholder] inputs to make those [proposed] projects part of the GCF process… to be manifest and be financed by the GCF,” he said.
Participants of the validation workshop commented on the ways the workshop helps to clarify areas where their respective organisations can streamline efforts in order to achieve GCF funding approval and, ultimately, the establishment of the ‘Green’ State.
Mr. Godfrey Scott, a stakeholder from the Guyana Geology and Mines Commission (GGMC), said that, “We foresee that, for the Commission, [the workshop] will help us understand our role in the process. It will help us understand how the Green Climate Fund works and how the commission could further contribute towards Guyana’s [country] work programme in submission to the GCF”.
Head of the Commission Secretariat at the Guyana Lands and Surveys Commission, Mr. Durwin Humphrey said, “I think the Green Climate Fund is really going to provide an avenue for us to… streamline green growth… There are lots of core functions which we want to streamline… We want to make sure we’re aligning the Commission’s functions with the ‘Green’ State Development Strategy”.
The OCC held two workshops prior to this one. The first, held in September of 2017, taught GCF operational modalities and requirements in order to build capacity in support of the NDA. The second, held in October 2017, identified stakeholder priorities, which laid the foundation for the draft country work programme being presented at this third and final workshop.