CELAC plays a critical role in addressing climate change, energy and food security – President at CELAC Summit

As Latin American and Caribbean leaders convene at the VIII Summit of Heads of State and Government of the Community of CELAC in St Vincent and the Grenadines, President Dr Mohamed Irfaan Ali has underscored the CELAC’s pivotal role in addressing critical issues that are impeding sustainable development within the region.

Issues ranging from climate change, energy security, and food and nutrition security –can have adverse effects if not addressed properly.

President Dr Mohamed Irfaan Ali addressing VIII Summit of Heads of State and Government of the Community of CELAC

Regarding food security, President Ali pointed out that climate change and prolonged weather conditions are already putting the world’s food production and global food security at severe risk.

“My government welcomes collaborative efforts and partnerships in the retooling effort to build the necessary capacity to meet the rising need for expertise in the advancement of this sector,” he stated, as Guyana is leading the Caribbean Community (CARICOM) in accelerating food security.

Guyana and many other countries within this region are prone to the adverse effects of climate change, and so, President Ali reiterated the call for the realization of the financial commitments needed to address and support mitigation and adaptation.

Importantly, the Guyanese President highlighted the preservation of forests and the crucial role of forests in climate mitigation and adaptation, including through reducing emissions from deforestation and forest degradation.

Along this vein, President Ali called on CELAC to drive its advocacy for the sustainable management of forests, the conservation and enhancement of forest carbon stocks (REDD+) processes, and other policy approaches decided by the Conference of Parties to the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change.

“I am therefore most appreciative of the invitation extended by His Excellency President Lula Da Silva for Guyana to present to the G20 in July of this year, on our model for the preservation of the forest – a model that Guyana would also be happy to present to the Member States of CELA at the earliest possible opportunity,” the head of state underscored.

Meanwhile, companies were encouraged to explore investment opportunities in key areas including agri-tech, eco and destination tourism, and the construction industry among others.

“The Government of Guyana remains committed to the diversification of our economic and investors portfolio”, he said emphasizing, “the traditional sectors while developing new and emerging ones”.

CELAC is a regional organisation consisting of 33 sovereign countries in Latin America and the Caribbean and was established to promote political dialogue and enhance Latin American integration.

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