By Tusika Martin
The local consultations on the President’s ‘Avoided Deforestation’ initiative will begin in two months’ time. The paper is being finalized.
While these consultations are aimed at having national input into the paper, the Head of State, President Bharrat Jagdeo, on Thursday said that it will also facilitate the suggestions of how resources raised from this mechanism can go towards addressing the needs of Guyana.
Speaking about his recent negotiations in Davos, Switzerland, on the issues of forestry and climate change, the President said that at one of the closed-door meetings there was consensus that the inclusion of forestry sector in the Copenhagen Agreement is vital for the world to achieve the emission targets that are sustainable.
President Jagdeo told the media on Thursday that, in the past, the problem associated with the forestry sector being included into the Kyoto Protocol mechanism was that there were no real examples of how this can work. He pointed out that a model is now being created by Guyana.
The Head of State also had discussions with Prince Charles on his Rainforest project.
This initiative brings to the world’s attention the need to preserve the rainforests, and the importance of rainforests not only as part of the climate solution, but also to preserve bio-diversity.
The project also looks at investment instruments that would allow financial flows to go to the developing countries. These could be financed through private sector-based mechanisms that could be supported by the developed world.
Guyana’s efforts in lobbying for provision of incentives for the preservation of rainforests have been noticed by many international agencies and non-governmental organizations.
Recently, the Head of State told the media that a number of NGOs around the world have been using Guyana, because of the studies and technical work the country did, as an example of a model in the preservation of standing forests.
Jagdeo noted that he intends to continue with the awareness raising and with the discussions to ensure that Guyana and other developing countries get the desired outcome in the Copenhagen Agreement.
Guyana, among others, has been arguing that there is a need to refashion the Kyoto Protocol.
President Jagdeo has been one of the frontrunners in lobbying for the successor agreement to the Kyoto Protocol to have a provision that adequately provides incentives for the preservation of rainforests.
The rainforest serves a vital role in the world in averting climate change and preserving biodiversity, but according to the President, it is unfortunate that the services provided by the rainforests of the world are not remunerated, and this has to change for equality’s sake.
It also has to change for the sake of achieving the steep targets that are necessary to stabilize the climate.
On last December 5, President Jagdeo launched Guyana’s report on ‘Creating Incentives to Avoid Deforestation.’
During the launching, the Head of State pointed out that Guyana can earn between $4.3B and $23.4B, depending on movement of commodity prices, with a most likely estimate of $5.8B, if the country aggressively pursues economically rational land use opportunities.
The great majority of Guyana’s forests, he said, are suitable for timber extraction, there are large sub-surface mineral deposits within the forest, and rising agricultural commodity prices increase the potential returns to alternative forms of land use, all increasing the opportunity cost of leaving the forest alone.
The President highlighted Guyana’s past, present and future endeavours and gains once the land use opportunities are utilized properly.
According to the Head of State, the country has a strong track record in sustainable forestry practices. He added that economic pressures to increase value from forest resources in Guyana are growing.
Guyana’s report on ‘Creating Incentives to Avoid Deforestation’ was presented to the Climate Change Conference in Poznan, Poland.
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