Private Sector Commission

President’s Award

Speech by Mr. Dookhoo, Chairman, Private Sector Commission on the occasion of the Award Ceremony for President Jagdeo

It is indeed an honour to be allowed to address this august gathering and to have this opportunity to congratulate our President on his sterling achievement.

Guyana’s President, Bharrat Jagdeo, has received the Champions of the Earth Award from the United Nations Environmental Programme in the category of Biodiversity and Ecosystem management.  As Lord Nicholas Stern, celebrated author of the Stern Review on the Economics of Climate Change, said: “President Jagdeo has been one of the world’s foremost heads of government in advocating for a global low carbon future, and his tireless advocacy, particularly on the urgent need to protect the world’s forests, has made a tremendous contribution to the international climate change agenda”

These sentiments and the United Nations Award itself come as no surprise to us in Guyana who have noted and followed President Jagdeo’s efforts over the last three years to promote a low carbon future for Guyana and indeed for the world.  According to the United Nations this award honours “the best and brightest as they strive to take action for our planet through their visionary thinking, unwavering dedication and committed action towards the sustainable use of the planet’s resources for global green growth.”

President Jagdeo has certainly been a tireless advocate for the preservation of the world’s forests and for serious attention to be paid to the issue of global climate change.  His Low Carbon Development Strategy has attracted international attention and already one country, Norway, has come forward as a partner in the preservation of Guyana’s forests for the benefit of the world.

Many have propounded the idea that economic development involves the plundering of natural resources as has been the practice of many of the world’s developed countries.  President Jagdeo with his Low Carbon Development Strategy has shown that this does not have to be the case.  His truly visionary thinking has shown that sustainable development is indeed possible and that the developed and developing world can partner to fight global climate change without sacrificing the economic aspirations of the peoples of the developing world.  But President Jagdeo has not only been an advocate of action against climate change, he has also committed Guyana’s 40 million acres of pristine rainforest to the fight and has outlined a plan for the sustainable development of Guyana.

With his Low Carbon Development Strategy President Jagdeo has pioneered a new way of valuing the scarce natural resources of the world.  It is certainly a fact that most of the world’s valuable forests exist in developing countries.  There has to be, therefore, a paradigm shift in the way these resources are valued by the developed world if our countries are to contribute our resources to the international fight against climate change.  In this effort President Jagdeo has shown courage and commitment to advancing the cause of developing nations and has challenged the developed world to place climate change on a new prioritized agenda.

In presenting the award the UN Under-Secretary-General and UNEP Executive Director, Achim Steiner, said that “President Jagdeo is a powerful advocate of the need to conserve and more intelligently manage the planet’s natural and nature based assets.  He has recognized more than most the multiple Green Economy benefits of forests in terms of combating climate change, and also in terms of development, employment, improved water supplies and the conservation of biodiversity.”

We in the private sector are justifiably proud of this achievement of Guyana led by President Jagdeo and we commit ourselves to the support of policies designed to further reduce the size of Guyana’s carbon footprint.  We again extend our most heart-felt congratulations to you, President Bharrat Jagdeo.

Thank you.

Comments are closed.