As the global spotlight turns to the plight of small island nations at the UN Climate Summit this week, Guam is trying to map out its own sustainable future.
Senator Kelly Marsh Taitano introduced Bill 167-35 which seeks to renew the Guam Comprehensive Development Plan to include the principles of sustainability to guide land use, community design, transportation, housing, and other components.
“Due to negative changes and impacts to our environment like the rest of the world, we need a more sustainable and integrated plan that encompasses the principles of sustainability and responsible uses of our finite and often very vulnerable resources. It is crucial that we do a better job of meeting our present needs without compromising the ability of future generations, which is our children and our grandchildren and those beyond,” the senator said.
Lola Leon Guerrero, chief planner at the Bureau of Statistics and Plans, said the current statute was enacted a generation ago and does not fully reflect many of the public concerns that have arisen in the intervening decades.
“In particular, there is the increasing impact of climate change on sea-level rise, natural resources, storm activity, and public health. In the same vein, the planning concepts of sustainable development has emerged as an important organizing principle for responsible planning for any community,” she said.
According to the legislation, the new plan will use a framework guided by the UN Global Programme of Action for the Sustainable Development of Small Island Developing States.