Low-carbon Development Strategy
Shrewd investment in economic infrastructure is a viable option
Georgetown, GINA, June 11, 2009.
The Low-Carbon Development Strategy (LCDS) document, launched by President
Bharat Jagdeo on June 8, outlines a number of ventures that, once pursued astutely and in
accordance with internationally acceptable standards, will catapult economic
advancement in Guyana.
Chapter three of the LCDS document, under the heading: “Creating a low-carbon
economy”, outlines three areas that will be essential to Guyana‟s future, one of which is,
“investing in low-carbon economic infrastructure”.
President Jagdeo, through the LCDS, submitted that in excess of US$1 billion has
been identified in essential capital projects that can be fully or partially funded through
private investment assisted by an in-country infrastructure fund built from forest
compensation payments. Of the grand capital, between US$710 million and US$1130
million is estimated to be invested in three main areas namely: hydropower; drainage,
irrigation and road development to improve access to unused, non-forested land; and
fiber optic cables/technology park. Even in a world of increasing industrialization, these
projects can potentially create great demands, while being pursued in an environmentally
The document posits that, „among other initiatives, these projects will enable
future economic growth to be powered predominantly by clean energy (hydropower), and
to make non-forested parts of the country accessible to private investors who can
generate low-carbon economic development and employment (largely high-end
agriculture and aquaculture)‟.
A site for the possible establishment of a hydropower facility has been identified
at Amaila Falls and its technical design completed. If the project is brought to fruition, all
national power consumption needs will be met. This will create significant cutback on the
heavy expenditures that currently go towards the purchase of imported fuel oil and diesel
for the generation of power. In addition, carbon emission will be reduced significantly.
Additionally, if drainage, irrigation and access to unused, non-forested land are
improved, the Government will be able to expand agriculture and aquaculture. Secondly,
improved infrastructure will result in a substantially lower cost for developers;
employment will be created, and consequently, standards of living will be enhanced and
the economy will develop.
Improvement in the telecommunication sector has long been identified as a
potential source for significant revenue. In this regard, investment in the installation of
fibre optic cables and establishment of a technology park promises to foster industry
growth and reduce the cost of telecommunication for individuals and companies