Minister Harmon, who delivered the feature address at the launching ceremony held, earlier today, outside the Mayor and Town Council of Bartica, said that the project is a demonstration of the Government’s continuing efforts towards the achievement of the vision of becoming a green state. This, he said is being done through the design and implementation of innovative solutions, first in Bartica, for equitable and inclusive social and economic development and utilisation of the country’s natural capital.
“Bartica must lead the way as a model town in areas of alternative energy including solar, wind and hydropower, solid waste management and economic diversification. It is our vision that this community will serve as an example to other towns and regions across the country. Bartica will be a microcosm of what greening is, not only in Guyana but the entire region. So as a Government, the President has committed that political will to the development of what is taking place and so Bartica will continue to see this type of development,” Minister Harmon said.
The conceptual Green Bartica Development and Land Use Plan, Minister Harmon said, provides for two inter-related actions; the modernisation and industrialisation of Bartica, which must be driven by reliable and clean sources of energy.
“When we speak of modernisation we envision retrofitting current investments to meet green economy standards and climate-proofing all investments carried out, within the framework of sustainable urban planning and management, which promotes interconnected green spaces, multiple transportation systems and mixed use development,” he said.
The Minister of State said that access to available sources of energy is indispensable for investment and expansion of all of the country’s productive sectors and will serve as driver of diversification for Bartica.
With direct reference to the project, Minister Harmon said that sound decision making with respect to alternative energy in Bartica through private direct investment and the Government of Guyana’s investment is dependent on this data.
“It must be based on imperial data. People think it is okay to sit in their offices in Georgetown and make decisions, but you have to come on the ground and that’s the basis of gathering baseline data,” Minister Harmon said.
Minister Harmon urged the residents to get as involved as possible in the project, as he noted that they are the beneficiaries and must, therefore, take responsibility not just for the project but for the entire transformation. “The transformation is your responsibility. As we celebrate World Environment Day, today, let us reflect on the benefits provided by the environment and seek to be good stewards of nature,” the Minister said.