Guyana’s LCDS and the Norway funds
What is the Guyana LCDS?
According to the Low Carbon Development Strategy (LCDS) website, the LCDS sets out Guyana’s approach to transition to a green economy. Its stated aim is to combat climate change while simultaneously providing economic growth and development. It sets out how Guyana’s economy can be realigned along a low carbon development path by investing payments received for avoided deforestation into strategic low carbon sectors.
The LCDS and GRIF
The Guyana REDD+ Investment Fund (GRIF) is the fund for the financing of activities identified under the LCDS. The Government of Norway has committed to provide up to US$250 million to the Fund by 2015.
Under the agreement with Norway, the World Bank will be the Trustee of GRIF. It will receive the money from Norway and transfer this money to the Partner Entities when a request is made.
Who are the Partner Entities?
The Partner Entities are the Inter-American Development Bank (IDB), the UN Development Programme (UNDP) and the World Bank. (Not the Government of Guyana)
The Partner Entities carry out the projects that are requested by Guyana and approved by the Steering Committee that is made up of representatives from Norway and Guyana.
How are payments made from GRIF?
- Once the Steering Committee agrees to the allocation it will notify the World Bank and the Partner Entity (IDB, UNDP or WB) of such approval.
- The Trustee (WB) will the issue a Letter of Commitment to pay over the approved allocation
- When the Partner entity receives this letter it will send a Transfer Request to the World Bank.
- When the Transfer Request is received the World Bank will pay the requested allocation to the Partner Entity.
- The Partner entity will then make all payments to the implementing agency.
Can the political opposition stop payments from the GRIF?
No! The process clearly sets out that the money from Norway will be kept by the World Bank. Payment from the Fund is the sole responsibility of the Steering Committee and the Partner Entity and payments will only be approved when the Steering Committee (including Norway) is satisfied that the project meets the eligibility criteria.
Can Amerindian Communities and other local entities still access money from the GRIF for LCDS projects?
Yes! The agreement provides that once the projects are approved by the Steering Committee and do not exceed the amount in the Fund, money will be allocated. All projects approved by the Steering Committee whether it be Amerindian Land Titling, provision of solar panels for Hinterland communities, Micro and Small Enterprise Development or any other approved project, will receive funding once they reach the eligibility criteria of the Partner Entity and the Steering Committee.
Can this information be verified?
Yes! Persons can check this information against what is provided by the World Bank by visiting the World Bank website: www.worldbank.org/grif
To attempt to mislead the Parliament into thinking that the $18 billion was money that would form part of the treasury was dishonest to say the least, and could very well be intended to establish a false defensive position the government intends to take when it fails to reach the standards set by IDB and UNDP for accessing the fund.
This would not be the first time that the PPP/C Government would have failed to meet internationally set standards for accessing financing.
Guyanese well remember the negligence of the PPP/C administration in 2011 that resulted in Guyana not accessing $3.8 billion of EU funding for the sugar industry and the failure of that same administration to agree to benchmarks that would have allowed Guyana to secure a $4 billion security sector reform project fund from the British Government. It is clear that that the PPP administration is unwilling to actively pursue any foreign-funded project with high standards of accountability and transparency.