• Topics:
    • Analytical Issues in the Green Economy Discourse
    • Methodological Issues in Preparing for the Green Economy
    • Policy Issues in Developing a Green Economy
    • Science, Technology & Innovation for a Green Economy
    • Ethics for a Green Economy
    • The opportunities and constraints present in Law
    • Energy Audits
    • The Science Behind the Green Economy
  • Host:

    The University of Guyana

  • Location:

    Education Lecture Theatre & Centre for Information Technology, University of Guyana

  • Date:

    Saturday, August 12, 2017 - 9:00am to Saturday, August 19, 2017 - 5:00pm

Event Description

The “Resource-based Economy and Environment” Executive Workshop is built around the idea that resource abundance does not itself imply growth and development; and much less does it imply green growth and sustainable development.  Indeed, resource abundance often implies, paradoxically, a growth that at best disturbs and injures the environment and at worst depletes the resource base itself, and threatens the livelihoods of those (usually the poor) who depend on it.

Policy makers in Guyana have adopted a ‘green economy’ framework that aims to achieve economic growth that is environmentally responsible and sustainable.  Earlier, in 2008, Guyana, had developed and launched a “low carbon development strategy (LCDS)” to show that economic growth does not have to be associated with rising carbon emissions.  The LCDS was conceived as a contribution to global climate change mitigation; while green growth will have to emphasise climate change adaptation.  It is not easy however to separate the two issues as they really are not independent.

For this and other reasons a resource-rich country pursuing green economic growth will have to deal with some obvious challenges, contradictions and tensions; and it will have to be innovative in looking for opportunities.  Challenges would include the potential for the resource curse, which would upset any growth strategy; and increased pollution and climate change impacts, which would compromise any attempt to pursue a “green” growth strategy.  At a more abstract level, an immediate challenge facing Guyana is that issuing an oil production licence while pursuing a climate change mitigation strategy would seem to be contradictory even if, as appears to be the case, the carbon footprint associated with crude oil production in Guyana will be small.    The course will examine how apparent contradictions such as these can be addressed with innovative institutional and technological solutions, such as Carbon Taxes or Biofuels, which take advantage of the country’s resource-abundance.

Note that the emphasis of this Executive Workshop is to build awareness and to expose participants to the discourse on the green economy, as against offering exhaustive training.  It will therefore be highly interactive, and will benefit significantly from the feedback and involvement of participants.  It is hoped that a core of people will emerge to advance to this other level.

The Uniqueness of the Programme

In addition to its novelty in the Caribbean and its particular focus on Guyana, which is undoubtedly the region’s most resource-abundant country, this executive course is unique among all those offered elsewhere in its focus on the importance of voluntary cooperation and coordination for the achievement of a green economy.  The course is built around the idea that the Green Economy, especially in a developing, resource-abundant, economy presents several “social dilemma” type challenges in which the public interest is pitted against private self-interest, but the collective choice of the former expands opportunities for everyone in society.  It takes cooperation to achieve such pro-social behaviour; and when enough people strategically positioned in social networks subscribe to pro-social norms, it takes coordination for them to avoid the inferior, “anti-social,” equilibrium.  Nested strategies to elicit cooperation for green economic growth will be explored at the international, regional, national and sub-national levels.

Duration, Organisation and Delivery

The programme will run from Saturday, August 12, 2017 to Saturday 19, 2017 but will not include Sunday, August 13, 2017.  The course is divided into parts:

  • Part A:  Analytical Issues in the Green Economy Discourse
  • Part B:  Methodological Issues in Preparing for the Green Economy
  • Part C:  Policy Issues in Developing a Green Economy
  • Part D:  Science, Technology & Innovation for a Green Economy

Parts A – C will be delivered in Lessons, two per day.  Part D will take the form of post-Lesson presentations, to allow a larger group of national stake holders to attend.

Additionally, there will be LUNCH-TIME DISCOURSES, which will emphasise interaction and demonstrations.  Among the topics that will be covered will be:

  • Ethics for a Green Economy
  • The opportunities and constraints present in Law.  Overarching principles such as inter-generational equity, and common heritage, in the context of Guyana Constitutional rights and duties.
  • Energy Audits
  • The Science Behind the Green Economy

Lessons will be delivered in the Computer and Information Technology (CIT) Centre at the University of Guyana.  There will be internet access, and all the software required for the Part B.

PowerPoint slides will be used extensively, and will be available to participants before Lessons.  In addition to lectures, there will be case studies, classroom discussion of particular problems with a view to coming up with solutions, and in the case of Lesson 8, computer laboratory experiments.

A key element of the course will be to expose students to the global initiatives to support the development of a green economy and to integrate resources available at various green economy portals into the delivery.  Examples include United Nations’ Sustainable Development Knowledge Platform:

https://sustainabledevelopment.un.org/topics/greeneconomy and the United Nations’ Environmental Programme: https://www.unep.org/greeneconomy/.

Opportunities for businesses to do side-presentations and exhibitions will be built into the programme.

Learning Objectives

Participants will learn about the green economy and its antecedents such as sustainable development, as well as global, national and sector-specific challenges and opportunities to advance low-carbon, resource efficient and socially inclusive development.  They will begin to develop basic skills for applying the green economy concept in a real world economic, policy and/or personal context.

On successful completion of the course, participants will be able to:

  • assess whether their policies and programs promote or hamper the goals of a green economy;
  • increase the "green" content of their policies and programs;
  • consider intelligently the green economy implications of national policies, legislation and regulation; and
  • recognise “green economy” negotiating issues when dealing with clients, customers, suppliers and regulators.

Target Audience & Eligibility

The course targets groups and individuals that are interested in, and see the need for, obtaining a general understanding about the green economy concept and latest developments in general, and especially in Guyana and the Caribbean.

They include: • Civil servants in Ministries, Regional and Local authorities • Diplomats from Missions, and International Agencies • Managers in private sector and civil society organizations, including political parties, the media, and trade unions • Faculty, researchers and students • Interested citizens.

Persons who have a first degree in any discipline, or who have managerial/supervisory level experience, are eligible to participate in this Executive Workshop.

Lecturers and Resource Personnel

Lecturers on the course will be experts who will be drawn from the University of Guyana and from elsewhere.  The full list of lecturers will be published shortly.


The cost per participant is $50,000 for the entire course; but in interest of including as many important stakeholders as possible, consideration will be given to those agencies that cannot quite afford this.

Programme Outline and Readings

The outline is presented below.  Readings will be added.

Part A: Analytical Issues in the Green Economy Discourse

Lesson 1.Green Economy Issues

The development of the concept of a green economy, and the relationship with the earlier concept of sustainability or sustainable development, will be discussed.  On the supply side, a taxonomy of environmental resources (renewable/non-renewable), and on the demand side, a taxonomy of values (use/non-use), will be developed.  Beginning with GDP and ending with “Genuine Savings,” the macroeconomics required for the course will be presented.  Particular attention will be paid to the notion of total wealth.


Green growth: economic theory and political discourse, by Michael Jacobs.

Genuine Savings and Sustainability, by Nick Hanley, Louis Dupuy and Eoin McLaughlin, 2014.

Lesson 2.Markets and Formal Institutions for a Green Economy.

The circular flow of income will be introduced, emphasising markets and “traditional” resource allocation themes.  The definition of resources will then be expanded to include environmental resources and natural capital, as well as social capital, and formal institutions and informal institutions.  In discussing formal institutions the role of the state as regulator will be introduced.  The role of individual demand will be developed but the constraining influence of society on preferences will be noted.  The importance of interpersonal trust will be underscored, both for the reduction of transactions costs and the facilitation of market interactions; as well as for the mechanisms used in the governance of non-market activities and interactions.

Lesson 3.Economic Growth Theories

Review of economic growth theories, with an emphasis on the motivation of “green growth.”  Guyana’s Green Economy Strategy will be discussed and analysed, along with the earlier Low Carbon Development Strategy.  The role knowledge, human capital and science & technology would be emphasised.

Lesson 4.The Main Themes & Policies in Environmental and Resource Economics

The following concepts will be presented, without any attempt at a very in-depth analysis.  Kuznet’s Environmental Curve; market failures; externalities & public goods; property rights and the commons; Pigouvian Taxes, the Coase Theorem, and Elinor Ostrom’s Core Principles; Maximum Sustained Yield; Hotelling’s Rule; the Hartwick Rule; the Dutch Disease & the Resource Curse.

Lesson 5.Behaviour, Culture and Decision-making in Markets, Government and Society.  The Prisoner’s Dilemma will be introduced to facilitate the discussion of the importance and the difficulty of voluntary cooperation, with an emphasis on multiple equilibria (i.e., Nash and Pareto) in the game.  The mechanisms, including coordination mechanisms, and the circumstances that lead to the selection of the Pareto Optimal outcome would be surveyed.  The importance of norms in equilibrium selection, and the approaches to changing norms would be discussed, as would the fairly recent theory of “nudging.”  The importance for green growth of social cohesion and inclusiveness, and of having the poor involved in decision making, will be explained and analysed.


Part B: Methodological Issues in Preparing for the Green Economy

Lesson 6.Investment Appraisal.  Discounting and the choice of discount rates; Net Present Value, Discounted Cash Flow and the Internal Rate of Return; the appraisal of environmental projects; public versus private investment appraisal, and the importance of complementarities in investment decisions.  An Excel-based Mine Project Evaluation tool, using Monte Carlo Analysis, will be introduced and discussed.

Lesson 7.Data Analysis, Policy Impact Analysis, and Survey Methodology

Lesson 8.Classroom Experiments for the Study of Cooperation

Part C: Policy Issues in Developing a Green Economy

Lesson 9.Climate Change: The Paris Agreement; Guyana’s intended Nationally Determined Contributions (iNDCs); Guyana’s Green Economy Strategy Paper; and the Low Carbon Development Strategy; and REDD+, the Guyana REDD+ Investment Fund and the Norway Agreement, will all be discussed and critiqued.  The proposal for a Carbon Tax, as well as the emergence of carbon trading, would be presented and analysed.

Lesson 10. Trade and Sustainability

Lesson 11.The Resource Curse Phenomenon, and Avoiding it


Part D: Science, Technology & Innovation for a Green Economy

Presentation/Panel 1.Energy Transition and the Advances in Biofuels Technology

Presentation/Panel 2.Renewable Energy in Guyana, the Caribbean and the Wider World

Presentation/Panel 3.Issues in Sustainable Agriculture in Guyana

Innovation & the Green Economy Manager

Contact Us

  • The University of Guyana
    Turkeyen Campus
    Greater Georgetown
  • +(592)-222-5423
  • admissions@uog.edu.gy