Caribbean aims to create a carbon-neutral environment: CTO Secretary-GeneralListen /
One of the goals of all Caribbean countries has to be to aim to create a carbon-neutral environment; a space in which they as a Caribbean region can lead the world in demonstrating how to reduce one's carbon footprint. The view was expressed by Secretary-General of the Caribbean Tourism Organization –CTO, Hugh Riley at the State House in Guyana during a Sustainable Development Conference in Guyana. Riley stressed that reducing the region's carbon footprint doesn't mean stopping the planes from flying there.
RILEY: What it does mean is finding creative ways to engage in responsible tourism…, we can in fact counter with evidence to show that we are not only among the lowest emitters of harmful gases on the planet, but that we are a carbon-neutral example for the world to follow. This conference has helped to reinforce that climate change and its attendant threats – rising sea levels, natural disasters and widespread destruction in our major population centers – will not simply go away if we bury our heads in the sand.
BOBB: Riley urged all to heed the warnings of the effects of climate change.
RILEY: The warnings of our experts must not fall on deaf ears. Those of us who have heard them – at this conference and elsewhere – have a responsibility to act, and to use whatever resources are available to us in the public forum, in the media – new and traditional – in caucuses of decision-makers and town hall meetings at community level, to sensitize our populations and to get them prepared. Mother Nature has given us the capacity to expect the best and prepare for the worst. Our policies and decisions today in regard to design and construction, disaster preparedness, community involvement, mitigation strategies, and most of all our ongoing programs to educate our people at all levels, will help to determine what kind of Guyana – what kind of Caribbean – we will pass along to our children.
BOBB: The Caribbean Tourism Organization Secretary-General stressed that harmful emissions contribute to the degradation of the planet and that the more they do to build their tourism numbers, the harder they must work to mitigate the effects of those larger numbers. And he warned that doing nothing about increasing the region's tourism numbers is just as foolhardy as doing nothing to preserve its assets.
This is Donn Bobb reporting