Chapter Four: Stimulating Growth: Low-Carbon Development

Introduction

Stimulating future low-carbon growth will involve advancement in traditional sectors as well as new sectors. The main areas of stimulating low-carbon growth include:

  • Expansion of agriculture in savannah areas
  • Further development of the hospitality industry
  • Expansion of the ICT sector
  • Strengthening and expansion of added-value and manufacturing capabilities
  • Further development of tourism potential

These sectors require the aligning of financial, human and physical capital to advance low-carbon growth.

These prerequisites are described in this chapter.

Financial Capital

Access to Finance in a low-carbon, climate-resilient economy

For many, access to finance remains a hurdle, whether seeking financial capital to invest in start-ups, to sustain a business through an unexpected external shock, expand in light of opportunities, or increase efficiency through different technologies or processes.

Following the success of the Micro and Small Enterprise Development (MSED) project that facilitated loans, grants and training in 17 wide ranging low-carbon sectors, during the implementation of the 2009 LCDS, a second phase will be implemented to assist entrepreneurs to more easily access finance for their low-carbon ventures either through grants or loans under favourable conditions, including guarantees on collateral requirements and reduced interest rates.

The project will be designed with consideration of lessons learned from the previous phase and will continue to take stock of the strong representation of female entrepreneurs. Under the first phase of the MSE project, female entrepreneurs represented 62% of grant beneficiaries and approximately 40% of loan beneficiaries. There were customised training programmes aimed at female entrepreneurs, in addition to those generally offered, and this will continue to be built upon.

Whether under the MSE project and in partnership with the Small Business Bureau or outside of the project, support will be given to female focused initiatives such as the Guyana Women’s Leadership Institute (GWLI) and the Women’s Innovation and Investment Network programmes (WIIN) under the GWLI.

Access to Finance Directed at Socio-Economic Development of Amerindians and the Hinterland

Amerindian communities across the country will benefit from all aspects of the LCDS, and a further 15% of revenue from Guyana’s forest climate services will be invested in communities’ priorities, including Land Titling to address the outstanding requests for the grants and titles; capitalisation of the Amerindian Development Fund to implement Community Development Plans; strengthening Amerindian Participation in REDD+ and implementing the Opt-In Mechanism. Support for Amerindian and other hinterland communities and villages has been at the core of the LCDS since 2009. This involved the starting of the Amerindian Land Titling (ALT) project, and the Amerindian Development Fund (ADF).

From 2021 onwards, support will continue through a number of pillars to be determined in consultation with communities but which will likely include (i) a new phase of the ADF; (ii) support for participation in REDD+ and ART-TREES; (iii) completion of the ALT project.

At the same time, communities will benefit from projects covered in other parts of this document, notably from renewable energy and climate adaptation projects:

Human Capital

Amerindian Land Titling Project

Legal ownership of land and its autonomous management is an essential factor in the sustained long-term socio-economic and cultural development of people. Supporting the securing of land tenure for Amerindians, Guyana’s Indigenous population and the first inhabitants of the country, continues to be a priority. The Amerindian Land Titling (ALT) Project, executed by the Ministry of Amerindian Affairs, will continue to address requests for titling of land and subsequent extensions following necessary investigations.

By 2020, the Amerindian Land Titling project had fallen behind its original objective. In 2021, a new workplan will be released to return the project to a path where it can meet its objective of processing all outstanding requests for land titling, demarcation, and extensions.

Having previously completed 21 demarcations and issued 19 Certificates of Title, along with 13 Absolute Grants, the ALT project now aims to address the outstanding requests for the issuance of 32 Absolute Grants, 47 demarcations and issuance of 49 Certificates of Title.

The important functions of the ‘Grievance Redress Mechanism’ formulated under the ALT Project will also continue to address grievances related to the land titling process and provide an alternative course of dispute resolution outside of legal redress. A robust communication strategy will be rolled out to complement all aspects of the ALT Project.

Health

Climate change has been shown to increase “illness and death from floods, heat waves and droughts; water and food insecurity; increased transmission and spread of infectious diseases, diminished air quality; and adverse physical and mental health impacts on populations.”

As part of the LCDS 2030, significant efforts will be dedicated to improving both access to and the quality of healthcare services.

Improving the quality of healthcare services will focus on:

  1. Sufficient numbers of highly-trained medical personnel to service a low-carbon economy.
  2. Modern and upgraded facilities and equipment to facilitate accurate diagnosis, treatment, and care.
  3. Efficient management systems, data and information storage and retrieval, including cloud or offsite back up storage of records in the event of site destruction or damage due to fires, floods or other means.
  4. Effective, quality medication—appropriately stored, delivered and administered in a timely manner.

Education

Research has shown that “education helps students develop a strong personal connection to climate solutions, as well as a sense of personal agency and empowerment, it can have consequential impact on students’ daily behaviours and decision making that reduces their overall lifetime carbon footprint.”

Of particular importance—when looking at the interplay between climate change, the environment and education—is the way in which schools/educational facilities should be adapted to build resilience and plan to be prepared for and respond to associated risks related to climate change. The National Risk Management Policy for the Education sector will be key in this regard.

The LCDS will focus on a number of priorities at the policy level looking at initiatives to fulfil the following main outcomes:

  1. Train Guyanese to function in a low-carbon economy
  2. Develop capacities for trade in low-carbon services
  3. Align institutions and programmes to low-carbon development including the University of Guyana and Technical and Vocational Institutions.
  4. Develop qualification and experience capabilities to function in a low-carbon economy
  5. Improving quality of life

Physical Capital

As Guyana positions itself for a sustainable future premised on a low-carbon and climate-resilient pathway, Sustainable Planning and Urban Development policies must be implemented in conjunction with sustainable designs that integrate environmental, economic, and social sustainability, where Guyana’s development trajectory is viewed and based on its interactions with the surrounding environment. The challenges of congestion in urban and rural areas−improper solid waste disposal, flooding, low-density expansion, inefficient modes of transit and car dependency−threaten sustainability and inclusive growth, and the achievement of a low-carbon, climate-resilient economy.

In recognising the growth opportunities offered by a low-carbon economy and to mitigate the challenges experienced, Guyana will embark on context-specific, solution-oriented sustainability planning that is aimed at responding to local socio-economic and ecological issues. This approach will not only support physical planning of cities but also position approaches for regional and territorial development. While urban planning can be seen in simplistic terms as controlling the physical development of urban areas, in a rapidly developing and transitioning economy such as Guyana’s, an Urban Development Policy and Plan are the tools that define the trajectory of this growth.

Support will be given to advance the country’s village-based Community Development Plans, as well as Guyana’s urban areas, including Georgetown, Silica City, and the eight additional towns of the country: Anna Regina, Bartica, Corriverton, Linden, New Amsterdam, Rose Hall, Lethem and Mabaruma. Consideration will be given to an international architectural and urban planning competition for Georgetown and Silica City.

Low Carbon Transportation Infrastructure

Low-carbon technologies within the transport sector are an important component of Guyana’s Low-carbon Development Strategy and complements related programme areas of cleaner power generation, and nature-based solutions.

The LCDS will seek to reduce the demand for imported fossil fuels for vehicular transport and its resultant impact on the local environment and health sector.

Among the low-carbon strategies within the transport sector, the LCDS will support the increasing of efficiency levels of vehicle consumption of fuel and will foster the development of an electric vehicle industry to substitute fossil fuels with electricity while enhancing the ability of the electric grid to integrate high levels of intermittent renewable energy.

Specifically, in investing in low-carbon transportation infrastructure, the LCDS will:

  • Lower the cost of doing business
  • Maintain Guyana’s territorial integrity
  • Create ease-of-access to social and economic services
  • Improve user experience
  • Support economic development

Digital Infrastructure

The 2013 version of the LCDS highlighted the importance of digital infrastructure to Guyana’s overall development as well as to the low-carbon vision that gave rise to the LCDS

Several initiatives were set out which have since been completed, including the expansion of Guyana’s fibre optic capability; targeted support for call centers and Business Process Outsourcing (BPOs), and the completion of telecommunications liberalisation. Other initiatives are in progress, including through the Hinterland digital access project described in Chapter Two. The digital transformation of the global economy is accelerating and Guyana needs to continuously advance the development of domestic capability to realise the immense new opportunities this transformation creates for the country.

LCDS 2030 will seek to bridge the divide between coastal and Hinterland communities by advancing programmes on:

Access and Connectivity

  • Expansion of the satellite network which provides part of the National Broadband Network.
  • Expansion of 4GLTE.
  • Expansion of the fibre optic network.

e-Governance

  • Service-oriented Government Programmes: this will include a national online portal to serve as a gateway to access digital government services, digitation of population, commercial and land registers; and electronic identification.
  • Expansion of data centres to support the provision of services provided by government agencies.

Social Capital – Gender and Social Inclusion

Gender equality and social inclusion are central tenets for the effective implementation of the LCDS and significant efforts will be made to ensure equitable distribution and access to social capital.

The LCDS will promote gender equality and social inclusion mainstreaming in climate change adaptation and mitigation strategies, including disaster risk management. Among the main implementation modalities of the LCDS will be the raising of awareness among the population about the effects of climate change, particularly on vulnerable groups. Participation in the different climate change and conservation programmes with an inclusive approach is crucial since it has been shown that the participation of women in these types of initiative has been particularly successful.

This will see the promotion of sustainable forest management, sustainable productive practices, forest conservation and recovery of degraded areas with small producers, especially women.

Within the framework of the food security and climate change policy, an articulation will be elaborated for collaboration with women and vulnerable groups. Agriculture is one of Guyana’s main economic activities and the basis of its food security. Agricultural development is not possible without the participation of the private agro-exporter sector and small associated producers, so that they can obtain a greater return on the sale of their products. Many of these subsectors are dominated by women and their continued and strengthened participation in agricultural production chains is indispensable.

Mining is the main economic activity in Guyana, which accounts for an important segment of the skilled and unskilled labour force. In Guyana, it is necessary to generate skilled labour that can be integrated in this sector and facilitate the integration of women and groups that may be vulnerable. The LCDS will foster an inclusion perspective in the development of the activities and the inclusion of women in decision-making in the mining industry through training and mentorship programmes.

Tourism − both marine and ecotourism − is a crucial low-carbon sector that offers a wider range of opportunities for women to play an active part of the economy. The opportunity to diversify and expand the tourism offering creates the opportunity for women and rural/remote communities to engage in the economy.

A top priority of the LCDS will be to support businesses owned by women and other vulnerable groups and facilitate the access to seed financing for entrepreneurship activities. The LCDS will seek to promote the inclusion of women and vulnerable groups in the key economic sectors, especially trade, industry, commerce and tourism.

 Maritime industries are traditionally male-dominated areas, particularly in bedrock sectors of fishing, ports/shipping and marine aggregates. Commercial and offshore fisheries remain a male-dominated sector worldwide. Women’s roles and activities in these bedrock sectors tend to be in supporting onshore roles, such as fish processing, food preparation and service sector roles. Women’s role in subsistence nearshore/coastal fishing is often unpaid and, therefore, undervalued in economic data.

A move towards valuing ecosystem services and the economic contribution that ecosystems make in supporting the economy will help to highlight the value of the roles of women to the economy. The stewardship and management of ecosystem services and the creation of new small scale business opportunities can also provide additional opportunities for women and more rural or remote island communities, such as through small scale aquaculture.

In achieving all of the above priorities, the LCDS will promote access to accurate, timely, and accessible information that is sensitive to the needs of women and girls, boys, and vulnerable groups including Hinterland communities.

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