New Internet service will promote sustainable development

Guyana Chronicle
June 30, 1999

A NEW Internet service, designed to promote sustainable development, was officially opened on Thursday.

GuyberNet, a global information training centre situated at 95 Hadfield Street, Werk-en-Rust, is a facility which will enable young people to become effective partners in the development process.

This non-profit organisation will allow users an opportunity to connect with the world through the use of the Internet, and will provide training in a variety of areas including environmental conservation, human rights, gender equality, peace, conflict resolution, personal hygiene, and sustainable enterprise development.

GuyberNet was established by the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) with joint funding from the European Union and Peace Child International. It will be managed by national youth leaders.

Communications Coordinator of UNDP, Mr Abraham Poole remarked that his organisation cannot carry out its mandate alone, and therefore it must seek the assistance of other entities to do so.

"UNDP believes in partnership. We alone cannot accomplish our mission," he stated.

Mr Poole pointed out that sustainable development is inclusive of training people and providing jobs for people. He expressed the view that Guybernet will now be able to dispense information on sustainable development to the public.

The UNDP official also spoke of the emergence of the Sustainable Development Networking Programme, (SDNP) another project funded by his organisation and the earliest Internet service provider in this country.

GuyberNet is linked to SDNP which connects communities, organisations and NGO's, a major purpose of SDNP, Poole further explained.

He noted that sustainable development has taken many manifestations over the years with the involvement of ordinary people.

"GuyberNet is another manifestation which is to preserve the environment for human development."

Guyana is the most recent addition to the Pilot phase of the Peace Child International Cafe programme.

Mr Trevor Benn, President of the Eccles/Moblissa Youth Leaders Council, was one of the members of the Environment and Sustainable Development Working Group of the United Nations, who attended a World Youth Forum in Vienna in November 1996.

The idea of a Sustainable Development Training Centre came out of that youth summit. Members of the Eccles/Moblissa Youth Leaders Council were in favour of the idea and a coalition of top Guyanese youth organisations including the Rotaract Clubs, the Guyana Youth Assembly and the Region Four Association of Youth was selected to manage GuyberNet.

Among dignitaries at Thursday's ceremony were: UNDP Representative, Mr Richard Olver; Justice Donald Trotman of the United Nations Association of Guyana; and Mrs Carmen Jarvis, Secretary General of the Guyana Commission for UNESCO.

(Stacey Davidson)

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Guyana: Land of Six Peoples