Georgetown, Guyana — (October 22, 2018) Vice President and Prime Minister, Mr. Moses Nagamootoo, who was performing the functions of President, yesterday morning, said the public sector must be prepared to grapple with environmental and climate governance challenges.

“We ourselves are engaged in reorienting and repositioning our public sector to embark on the path of a ‘Green’ State Agenda, as well as management of our environment as we develop a new oil and gas industry. The public sector has to be prepared to grapple with environmental and climate governance challenges as well as the ‘green’ agenda as a whole. The public sector is a critical stakeholder and guardian of the National Patrimony. The National Patrimony cannot be divorced from climate consideration any more than it can be separated from matters of economics relating to improving the lives of our citizens,” said Mr. Nagamootoo.

The Prime Minister was at the time addressing participants during the opening ceremony of the 12th Biennial Commonwealth Association for Public Administration and Management (CAPAM) Conference, which is being hosted in Guyana for the first time.

The three-day conference, themed ‘Transforming the Public Sector for Climate Governance’, is being held at the Marriott Hotel.

The Prime Minister who delivered the feature address on behalf of President David Granger said that as Guyana pursues new economic ventures, the public sector of Guyana, and those in the Commonwealth, cannot afford to ignore climate change.

He also highlighted the importance of collaboration in finding sustainable strategies for governance. “Expert groups on pertinent ‘green’ agenda issues… [point] to the strength in collaboration among all stakeholders, whether they are in the public service, private sector, or the wider civil society. The public sector, however, must lead the way in preparing itself to meet the challenges of climate governance. They must also build networks and partnerships within and beyond sovereign borders,” said the Prime Minister.

Meanwhile, President of the CAPAM Board, Dr. Ali Hamsa spoke to the relevance of the conference’s theme noting that the effects of climate change are felt globally.

“The theme of our conference today is timely… ‘Transforming the Public Sector for Climate Governance’, that is the effects of changing climate are being felt to various degrees around the world… With many regions experiencing both shared and unique climate challenges, it is clear that effective and efficient climate governance must occur across Government systems through a multitude of sectors and industries in order to better tackle the complex environmental matters,” Dr. Hamsa said.

Echoing similar sentiments, Director of the Governance and Peace Directorate of the Commonwealth Secretariat, Ms. Katalaina Sapolu called for policy changes that reflect the urgent need for climate governance.

“The theme… is timely and important given the existential threat posed to humanity by climate change. The role of the public sector in climate change governance is, therefore, critical and Governments are ultimately responsible for the implementation of a ‘green’ international global governance framework. Indeed for Governments to meet their commitments to address climate change in accordance with the Paris agreement, the public sector needs to put in place appropriate national strategies, policies, and institutional frameworks. [Guyana] has set, for us, a very good example [in] its ‘Green’ State Strategy,” said Ms. Sapolu.

CAPAM provides an opportunity for government heads within the Commonwealth to exchange innovations in public sector management to promote good governance.

The opening ceremony was attended by local and Commonwealth Ministers of Government, members of the Diplomatic Corps, and representatives from international organisations.

Meanwhile, Prime Minister Nagamootoo received a token of appreciation from CAPAM Chief Executive Officer, Ms. Gay Hamilton.

Ministers of Public Service, State, Security, Finance, Health, Social Cohesion, Public Affairs, Dr. Rupert Roopnaraine, Mr. Joseph Harmon, Mr. Khemraj Ramjattan, Mr. Winston Jordan, Dr. Karen Cummings, Dr. George Norton and Mrs. Dawn Hastings-Williams respectively also attended the opening ceremony of the CAPAM Conference.

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