Georgetown, Guyana – (August 23, 2017) President David Granger, earlier today, met with Baroness Valerie Amos, now Director of the SOAS-University of London, former Leader of the House of Lords and representative to the United Nations (UN), where they discussed, among other issues, Guyana’s ‘green’ development pathway. President Granger, during the meeting, which was held at State House, said that Guyana is committed to combating the effects of climate change and global warming by protecting its biodiversity through the adoption of a ‘green’ development agenda.
He told Baroness Amos that the preservation and sustainable management of the environment is central to Guyana’s development, despite the country’s future as a petroleum-producing nation. The President also briefed Baroness Amos on his plans to establish Protected Areas in all of the Regions of Guyana in order to devolve greater responsibility for conservation and for environmental protection to the administrative centres across the country.
“It will allow our citizens in those regions to exercise stewardship over their regional protected areas and I am confident that given the varied landscape that we have inherited, every region will be able to have a distinctive, a unique protected area; one that is different from any other region,” he said.
The Head of State said that even as Guyana continues to pursue this line of development, he expects that Guyanese citizens, particularly those involved in the tourism industry, will take advantage of the opportunities for eco-tourism, which are presented.
Baroness Amos said, like the President, she too has a deep interest in mitigating the effects of climate change and the protection of the environment. She noted that it is commendable that Guyana is taking up a lead role in the fight against climate change and has already begun taking steps to protect its biodiversity.
The former Leader of the House of Lords, who assumed the position of Director for the SOAS –University of London (formerly known as the School of Oriental and African Studies) in 2015, was born in in Dry Shore on the Essequibo Coast and lived in Wakenaam until she was nine years old. She is now the first woman of African descent in the United Kingdom to head a University. Before taking up the post at SOAS, she served as Undersecretary General for Humanitarian Affairs and Emergency Relief Coordinator at the United Nations (UN). She has also served in a number of roles in the public sector in the United Kingdom including in local government and as Chief Executive of the Equal Opportunities Commission.
Baroness Amos served as an Advisor to the Government of Nelson Mandela on leadership, change, management and strategy issues between 1994 and 1998. She was appointed a Labour Life Peer in 1997 and became a member of the Government of the United Kingdom in 1998. According to her biography, she was a Foreign Office Minister, Secretary of State for International Development, Leader of the House of Lords and Lord President of the Council. She also served as UK High Commissioner to Australia before joining the UN. In June 2016, she was made a Companion of Honour in the Queen’s Birthday Honours list.