Feb 17, 2009 News Comments Off on Guyana’s commitment to deforestation attracts $247M
Finance Minister Dr. Ashni Singh has said that work will continue this year to develop and implement a readiness plan for reducing emissions from deforestation and degradation.
And there will be stakeholder consultations to achieve a consensus in the position that Guyana will take as a formal submission to the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) meeting in Copenhagen in December, in efforts to strike a new post-Kyoto agreement that provides positive incentives for highly forested countries, such as Guyana, with low deforestation rates.
These activities are outlined in the 2009 Budget presented in the National Assembly last Monday.
According to Dr. Singh, the activities of 2009 will form part of Guyana’s road map to establish a new model of low-carbon economic development, with business opportunities for low carbon and investment and expanding investments for climate change adaptation.
In this regard, he added, Guyana can become a significant provider of environmental services and secure substantial revenue to allow for the address of Guyana’s adaptation needs, such as improved sea defence and drainage, while creating other non-forestry-related opportunities.
The minister also said that Guyana and the Caribbean continue to face the devastating effects of climate change in a very immediate and direct way.
“As recent as last month, Guyana was given an unwelcome reminder of the increased frequency and intensity with which we now face extreme weather episodes, as heavy rains battered our coast and as our overloaded drainage systems struggled to protect our homes and our farmlands.”
Any response to bring lasting relief from this challenge will involve difficult fiscal choices on our part, Minister Singh asserted.
“This is a domestic reality that we must face as we enter 2009.”
At the same time, he said, Guyana makes a very substantial contribution to global efforts to mitigate climate change through the maintenance of our high forest cover and low deforestation rates. We have entered into a number of strategic partnerships aimed at developing locally relevant methodologies to assess our carbon stock, and at preparing us to tap into the emerging carbon markets.
Last December, Guyana launched a national policy position on avoided deforestation. This policy, the minister said, highlighted the need to correct the existing market failure in the global system, where the services that forests provide when trees are felled are highly valued while the services that forests provide when trees are kept alive go largely unrewarded.
“In support of this policy, a pioneering study was undertaken.
This policy assessed the true value of our forests by determining the value it provides to the nation and the world.”
Relatedly, our ability to monitor, understand and predict weather patterns is a critical element in our preparedness to deal with climate change and the ravages of rainfall-induced flooding, Minister Singh said.
Ongoing efforts to strengthen Guyana’s hydrometeorological capabilities will therefore be augmented by this year’s allocation of $247.7 million.
Some $70 million of this will be used to complete the installation of the Doppler radar system, and another $10.5 million has been allocated for further specialised training required to effectively utilise the radar.
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