Former President of Guyana, Bharrat Jagdeo has a double role as IUCN High Level Envoy for Sustainable Development in Forest Countries and IUCN Patron of Nature. For many years, President Jagdeo has emphasized the need for urgent international action to avert the worst extremes of climate change – and “to make global development and combating climate change compatible, not competing objectives”. As part of his vision to show how progress is possible, Guyana’s Low Carbon Development Strategy sets out a national scale, replicable model to protect Guyana’s 18 million hectares of forest and to provide insights on how to curb the 17% of global greenhouse gas emissions that result from deforestation and forest degradation, while re-orienting the Guyanese economy onto a long-term “low deforestation, low carbon, climate resilient trajectory”.
Speaking of his new roles, President Jagdeo said: “The ideas and human energy that will solve many of today’s biggest global challenges will come from today’s developing world. In particular, forest countries and peoples will be to the fore of solving the inter-inked challenges around how we use our planet's land – to feed the world, source the minerals needed for prosperous economies; preserve bio-diversity; avert climate catastrophe; and protect the rights and livelihoods of people who depend on forests. These are some of the biggest challenges in the world today. Working with IUCN, I hope that I can help to catalyse greater South-South innovation towards solutions, as well as support partnerships between forest nations and progressive countries and institutions from today’s industrialised world.”