Special Award: Biodiversity Conservation & Ecosystem Management

President Bharrat Jagdeo

Guyana’s 45-year old President Bharrat Jagdeo has gained international recognition for his position on environmental issues within his country and on the global scale.
As the President of a country with 40 million acres of untouched rainforest, Mr. Jagdeo has been working on inviting donors and investors to pay for the protection of the forests through the sale of carbon credits, or investments in eco-tourism and pharmaceutical discoveries. With the money he expects to generate from this trade, President Jagdeo plans to improve the country’s coastal infrastructure to protect it from the potential rise in sea levels.

He has proposed that the UN Reduced Emission from Deforestation and Forest Degradation (REDD) program adopts Guyana’s model on forest management and has encouraged the rest of the world to live in a way “where protecting forests is more economically prudent than cutting them down”.

He served as Guyana’s Prime Minister and Minister of Finance prior to winning the presidency in 2001 and 2006.

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