The government plans to table a revised version of the Low Carbon Development Strategy (LCDS) in the National Assembly before it takes the document to the United Nations Climate Change Conference in Copenhagen this December.
This is despite the fact that Amerindian communities have asked for more information about the strategy, which is being touted by the government as a viable plan to protect the environment and at the same time reap economic benefits.
Head of the Presidential Secretariat, Dr Roger Luncheon, has however insisted that the document that will be taken to Copenhagen will not be a final document and would most likely be subject to further consultations and refinement.
This announcement comes in the wake of calls by Amerindian communities for more information, for which the World Bank has granted US$200,000, partly to be used by the National Toshaos Council to carry out the consultations.
The World Bank grant follows meetings officials of the Bank and other donors, along with government and civil society representatives, had with 16 Amerindian communities to discuss the government’s proposed strategy to keep the forest standing and receive payments from the international community.
President Bharrat Jagdeo Tuesday said the government is moving to finalise the LCDS and begin a process to monitor the forest more vigorously using top class technology.
The World Bank grant will help communities better understand the concept of Reduced Emissions from Deforestation and Forest Degradation (REDD) and the government’s efforts to develop its own REDD strategy, namely the LCDS.
Jagdeo said the LCDS was being finalised after a series of consultations that involved all sections of the Guyanese society. REDD would be the main financing mechanism for the LCDS, and therefore the strategy’s implementation hangs on the global climate change meeting in Copenhagen this December which is supposed to formulate a new international agreement to manage the environment.
Guyana is arguing for REDD to be included in the new agreement because the current agreement, which expires in 2012, does not reward countries for keeping their forests standing, but provides incentives for countries which would have cut down its forests but are now re-planting. The President has described this incentive as perverse, and has declared that forests are an important part of global efforts to stop further climate change.
Guyana is the lead participant in the Global Forest Carbon Partnership Facility of the World Bank, which involves 50 donor and forest countries and is administered by the World Bank to help countries develop REDD strategies.
This will enable Guyana to be able to draw down funds if a favourable agreement is reached in Copenhagen.
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