Dr. Vincent Adams, Executive Director
Environmental Protection Agency, Guyana
Now in its 50th year, Earth Day is a time to reflect on the relationship between humanity and the vast resources which make life viable. Conceived in the United States in 1970 due to rampant environmental degradation, Earth Day has evolved into the largest global environmental movement. Public pressure has led to steady actions to stymie environmental degradation, demonstrating the invincible power of advocacy and political action to effect change.
Since 1970, 175+ countries have reaffirmed their commitment to a sustainable future through national policies and International Agreements. Guyana has made significant strides by establishing competent authorities to manage natural resources, and by developing policies to protect the environment, biodiversity and human health; such as: the Styrofoam Ban; pending Single-use Plastics Ban in 2021; and phasing out of mercury in artisanal and small-scale gold mining by 2027.
This year’s theme, “Climate Action”, highlights one of the greatest challenges facing humanity, Climate Change and its unprecedented impacts. Coupled with the COVID-19 pandemic, which has overwhelmed our healthcare systems, threatened food security and crippled global economies, climate change is now an even greater existential threat.
Given our commitment to the Paris Agreement, the obligation to restore our planet, and modern technology, there are vast opportunities to foster a more sustainable future on earth. The Environmental Protection Agency supports unified action to tackle these issues as we commence a new decade.