Training Workshop: Strengthening the Environmental Dimension of the SDGs, Guyana’s Green State Development Strategy, Vision 2040

Role of UN System in supporting Guyana’s achievement of the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development

Guyana has now a comprehensive development framework in the Green State Development Strategy. The GSDS has a clear 2040 vision of sustainably using Guyana’s rich natural resources for the benefit of every citizen to live a good life.  The GSDS is Guyana’s road map and contribution to the 2030 Global Agenda for Sustainable Development.

Vision 2040 and even Agenda 2030 may still seem far away.  But time passes fast and action is urgent to achieve the ambitious transformation envisaged in the GSDS and SDGs.  We need data to be able to plan, budget and invest smartly and to track the results of implementation.

From a data perspective, the recent VNR was very informative.  The VNR showed what data Guyana had and was able to synthesize to show progress and gaps.  We also were able to learn where gaps or weaknesses were in the data chain.  It was heartening to see what was possible for Guyana to achieve when institutions work together under committed leadership under tight deadlines.  Congratulations to Guyana for this and the Ministry of Finance and line agencies who drove this.      

At the VNR, the Member States and the UN system took serious note of Guyana’s appeal to strengthen data management as a pivotal instrument for GSDS and SDG implementation.     

The UN System will support Guyana’s renewed efforts to strengthen data systems.  Let me propose a few ways in which we can work together to do this.   

  1. Macro-level data systems to streamline indicators, targets and data – M&E framework for GSDS; MICS 2019; Census and Women’s Health and Life Experience Survey GBV prevalence.  One possible approach we can pursue together is to prioritise SDG indicators most relevant for Guyana and ensuring a robust data system behind them.
  1. Using technologies to facilitate data collection and accessibility – use of big data, digitalization and data repositories.
  1. Data analysis and use for evidence-based and results-based policy-making, planning, monitoring and reporting – making the link between GSDS and SDG targets and day-to-day work.  For the UN’s cooperation with Guyana under MSDF, we need to revamp the Government-UN Results groups.    

Through these multi-faceted actions, it is hoped that the culture around data changes.  This involves enhancing data transparency and accessibility, inter-agency sharing and cooperation with regards to data collection and use, enabling and empowering people to take actions based on data, strengthening research for data analysis and solution propositions for complex developmental issues.  All this while respecting and protecting the integrity of individual rights.

I look forward to consultations with the Government to elaborate our cooperation on data in a holistic and strategic manner. 

I would like to thank UN Environment for this training workshop as part of its broader provision of expertise to strengthen environmental statistics in Guyana.  Environmental statistics has special significance and urgency for Guyana now.  Environment has always been important for Guyana with its rich natural endowment, low carbon emission and being the carbon sink and the world’s lung.  Now with the advent of oil, it is important to keep a close eye on Guyana’s emissions to stay well within sustainable targets.  Environmental statistics is also critical globally as well.  Global warming and environmental degradation continue at an alarming rate and the whole world needs to keep a close eye on environment indicators and data. 

The UN Secretary General is holding the Global Climate Action Summit in New York on September 23rd.    

According to the very latest data from the World Meteorological Organization and its climate centre – the month of July at least equaled if not surpassed the hottest month in recorded history.  We are on track for the period from 2015 to 2019 to be the five hottest years on record.  The heatwave which affected Europe in the last month has now raised temperatures in the Arctic and Greenland by 10-15 degrees Celsius.  This at a time when Arctic Sea ice is already near record low levels. 

The world’s leading scientists tell us we must limit temperature increases to 1.5C if we are to avoid the worst impacts of climate change. We need to cut greenhouse emissions by 45% by 2030 and be carbon neutral by 2050.  The SG is calling on all leaders from governments, businesses and civil society for bold action and much greater ambition.

“Preventing irreversible climate disruption is the race of our lives and for our lives.” (UNSG)

I wish you success in the training workshop.

Speech by
Author
Mikiko Tanaka
Resident Coordinator
RCO
Mikiko Tanaka, UN Resident Coordinator
UN entities involved in this initiative
UNEP
United Nations Environment Programme