President Ali urges biodiversity integration into global agenda

President, Dr Mohamed Irfaan Ali has stressed the need to integrate biodiversity into the global agenda, pointing to an ambitious plan to unite biodiversity-rich countries and develop a scalable model for environmental protection.

The Guyanese head of state is confident that the undertaking will foster global collaboration, innovative financing, and sustainable development.

President Dr Mohamed Irfaan Ali listens keenly to a point made by one of the participants at the summit

He said it will be setting a new precedent in the fight against climate change.

President Ali made the compelling call during a detailed PowerPoint presentation on Wednesday, as the Concordia 2024 Amazonas Summit got underway at the Baganara Island Resort along the Essequibo River, some five miles from Bartica.

“It is a short timeframe; it’s a lot of work, but I think in the interest of the planet, we have to do that. But more importantly, we will be making a major contribution to science. We will be doing all [the] groundwork to develop a model, and then to demonstrate to the world that a model can work at scale,” President Ali explained.

Former President of the Republic of Colombia and Concordia Leadership Council Member, Mr Iván Duque contributed to the discourse during the summit on Wednesday

The second edition of the Concordia Amazonas Initiative, brought together leaders from diverse sectors and industries, to shape the future of the Amazon rainforest.

Addressing the gathering, President Ali outlined that once key stakeholders are involved and all hands are on deck, a viable and scientifically proven model can even be presented to the United Nations by 2025.

He said Guyana stands ready to lead in what can be termed, the “global biodiversity alliance,” aiming towards model building and economic assessment of the resource and developing innovative financing instruments for biodiversity.

As part of its major achievements, the nation has launched the second phase of its Low Carbon Development Strategy (LCDS) 2023 and continues to maintain low deforestation rates.

Guyana has maintained intact forests and protected biodiversity corridors and even monetised carbon credits, creating an innovative climate finance instrument.

The country has a US $750 million contract under the carbon credit sales, with 15 per cent of these funds going directly to indigenous villages for sustainable livelihood activities.

Commendably, Guyana has laid a framework for other innovative climate finance instruments to follow this model, which could include financing for biodiversity.

“A lot of work has already started…So, you see [as part of] maintaining Guyana’s forests, what we’re doing is aligning national strategy with global action. It is the same strategy I believe we can develop for biodiversity and to bring all the stakeholders together,” the president stressed.

He also shared another exciting plan to create a global Oscar for climate and environment, to elevate worldwide awareness and focus on sustainable development.

Minister of Natural Resources Vickram Bharrat, Former President of the Republic of Colombia, and Concordia Leadership Council Member Iván Duque were also present at the opening session.

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