Country

Guyana

Explore historical and projected climate data, climate data by sector, impacts, key vulnerabilities and what adaptation measures are being taken. Explore the overview for a general context of how climate change is affecting Guyana.

Adaptation

Guyana continues to work on integrating water management infrastructure, which includes the construction, rehabilitation, and maintenance of conservancies, canals, sea defenses, water supply, and sanitations. New agricultural techniques such as hydroponics and fertigation will also be introduced. Climate change considerations will be mainstreamed in all sectors of national development. Guyana is preparing a Climate Resilience Strategy and Action Plan to provide a framework for adaptation and resilience building. Conditionally, it will undertake actions in infrastructure, coastal zone management, water, and agriculture as well as develop financial risk management measures and environmental awareness programs at all levels. The total financial need for implementing the conditional adaptation actions amounts to USD$1.6 billion.

Adaptation Options for Key Sectors

  • Integrate climate change management considerations into programs for developing farm management systems.
  • Integrate the pest, weed and disease implications of climate change into strategies to minimize their impact on agriculture and natural resource systems.
  • Introduce drought resistant crop varieties into agriculture adaptation plans.
  • Improve the capacity of models to predict climate impacts on agriculture at scales relevant to farmers and agricultural mangers for early warning systems and disaster preparedness.
  • Build resilience and adaptive capacity to climate change in the agriculture sector.
  • Short-term adaptation measures may have to be focused on a redefined forest management plan, addressing such concerns as a forest fire protection plan and stricter control of logging practices, under several climatic scenarios.
  • Implement management of forests specifically for carbon conservation, including introduction of stricter controls on harvesting, deforestation, fires and pest outbreaks.
  • Implement management of forest resources specifically for the purposes of carbon sequestration, e.g. through measures to expand the area of forest ecosystems and the density of forest biomass, and increasing the absorption capacity of forest soils.
  • Introduce policies and other measures for promoting afforestation, reforestation and forest regeneration.
  • Short-Term Measures (2010-2015)
    • Introduce water conservation measures (metering, low-flow plumbing fixtures, options for tariff reform, leak detection and monitoring).
    • Enhance education and awareness-raising on the need for water conservation and types of measures that can be adopted by industry, business, households and individuals.
  • Medium-Term Measures (2010-2025)
    • Introduce standards, ensuring all new buildings are furnished with water-saving technologies.
    • Improve wastewater management facilities.
    • Develop storage facilities to allow for seasonal transfers of water resources.
    • Promote widespread uptake of rain-water harvesting.
    • Implement efficiency measures for agricultural water storage and irrigation systems.
    • Create an inventory of freshwater resources.
  • Long-Term Measures (2026 and beyond)
    • Construct water desalination plants along the coast.
    • Enhance development of groundwater resources.
  • Develop a strategic plan for the Mining and Extractive Industries.
  • Develop standards and regulations for the establishment of mines, the training of miners and the use, handling and storage of potentially toxic chemicals.
  • Introduce incentives to encourage gold and other precious metals to be traded legally in the country.
  • Work with host communities to develop concrete adaptation plans.
  • Integrate climate-compatible development into initiatives for sustainable local benefit from project operations.
  • Explore how investments in ecosystem services can improve local resilience.
  • Work with stakeholders to understand their emerging concerns.
  • Initiate cross-industry collaboration on regional adaptation strategies.
  • The organization and control of mining and the extractive sector as a whole has to be a priority of the government.

Gaps and Needs

  • Detailed studies on the impact of climate change related to specific sectors.
  • Consistent work on climate modelling.
  • National links to research efforts in the region and internationally.
  • Need to decentralization of environmental monitoring and enforcement responsibilities.
  • Lack of planning instruments due to the non- existence of a Ministry of Environment (strategic level of institutional structure), and the fact that the current Environmental Protection Agency has a broad regulatory mandate to protect and conserve Guyana’s natural resources and environment.
  • Absence of a Legal Unit within the EPA.
  • Greater involvement of civil society in the climate change challenge.
  • Guyana has successfully addressed many issues attached of climate change with the assistance of local regional and international organizations. With the implementation of policies, legislative frameworks and programs the country is better able to combat the vulnerabilities associated with climate change. These issues can be identified by the following actions:
    • There is need for greater collaboration among agencies that address climate change issues.
    • There is the need for research on how the climate is expected to change in the future.
    • Relevant training in various agencies for these to be better equipped to monitor impacts such as erosion, inundation, along with changes in pest abundance, health signals, changes in fisheries, rice and sugar yields.
    • A long-term National Public Awareness and Education Strategy for Climate Change Mainstreaming environmental issues Greater involvement by the private sector in issues of climate change.
    • Improving the legislative and enforcement framework.
    • Increasing private sector and civil society participation.
    • Achieving positive attitudinal changes in citizens by ways of education.
    • Establishing environmental benchmarks.
    • Improving systems for information gathering, analysis and monitoring.
    • Building capacity by ways of increased manpower and professional development. 
    •  Implementing more initiatives based on horizontal and regional cooperation.
  • Gaps in the knowledge and data necessary to compile the greenhouse gas inventory, evaluate mitigation and abatement technologies and understand the likely impacts of climate change.
  • Lack of technical capacity and funding to implement and maintain mitigation technologies.
  • Insufficient coverage of climate and weather monitoring systems.
  • Insufficient deforestation monitoring system.
  • Biophysical vulnerability to climate change, particularly along the coastal strip where agriculture and human settlements are focused.
  • Insufficient technical knowledge to downscale General Circulation Models to estimate the impacts of climate change at the national and sub-national level.
  • Absence of knowledge on the impacts of climate change on key sectors, such as public health, energy, forestry and fisheries.
  • Insufficient progress in embedding the projected impacts of climate change into decision making and planning across all sectors.
  • Failure to establish mechanisms for successfully implementing many climate change mitigation and adaptation initiatives that have been identified since the publication of the National Climate Change Action Plan in 2001.