Aug 22, 2010 News
The Forestry Commission is currently seeking an Independent Forest Monitor, to undertake the initial scoping mission in 2010 and a monitoring assessment in 2011, which are required before any money can be disbursed from Norway to Guyana under the Memorandum of Understanding signed.
That MOU between the Government of Guyana and the Government of Norway outlines the activities to be covered during the 2009 and 2010 period, which includes the establishment of a system for Independent Forest Monitoring (IFM).
The successful IFM chosen, will draw on the work which would have been done in Guyana, and will allow for a mechanism for assessment of illegality in the forest sector.
It will cover all significant drivers of deforestation and forest degradation in Guyana and thus, has direct links to a Reduced Emissions from Emissions, Deforestation and Degradation (REDD+) monitoring programme.
Under the Terms of Reference as set out by the Guyana Forestry Commission, the Monitor’s report must include a summary of all field and other visits held during the mission and must not be released prior to its submission to, and feedback from the Reporting Panel.
“It is expected that feedback which is justified and appropriate will be integrated into a revised report prior to public release by the Monitor…The Monitor’s report should document its findings and sources of information otherwise it can be excluded from the Report…The distribution and publication rights of the Monitoring Report and any Scoping Mission report is held by Monitor, which is mandated to release all such reports, once validated.”
In November last year, Guyana and Norway inked the MOU agreeing that Oslo would pay US$30M this year and potentially up to a total of US$250M by 2015 for Guyana to preserve its forests.
Under the partnership, Guyana must accelerate its efforts to limit forest-based greenhouse gas emissions and protect its rainforest as an asset for the world.
Already the fund for the money has been established as was explained by Finance Minister Dr Ashni Singh during a Parliamentary session last month.
According to Dr Singh, the GRIF will support a number of high priority Low Carbon Development Strategy (LCDS) investments from 2010 to 2015.
The only thing that may stand in the way of its implementation would be if there was an agreed United Nations Framework for Climate Change or International alternative to supersede the GRIF.
Acting as trustee of the GRIF will be the World Bank, and according to Dr Singh, they will play a two-fold role in its development and subsequent operation.
In its first role, the World Bank will act as the managers of the Fund, and through their treasury arm, will generate further income for Guyana on the payments.
This is relative to the use of the liquid assets for specific LCDS investments.
The World Bank will also act as the Financial Intermediary Mechanism through which the monies and any income earned on them would be further invested in projects and activities that support the implementation of LCDS.
The Minister went on to point out the challenge inherent in the arrangement, in that it is necessary for Guyana to exercise its sovereignty over the decision making process with regards to the spending of the monies, while still operating the fund to meet international criteria of transparency and accountability.
He said that the intent is to create a replicable model with the institution of GRIF.
The GRIF will be discharged using a type of fund called the Financial Intermediary Fund (FIF). In a recent interview, Giorgio Valentini, Country Representative of the World Bank noted that there is a very distinct structure and organisation to this type of fund.
The Donor (or donors) deposits their funds to a resource pool that is held by the Trustee – the World Bank in this case. The Trustee then has the responsibility of disbursing these funds to the partner entities as instructed.
These instructions will come from a Steering Committee that usually consists of representatives from the donor and recipient countries.
The Steering Committee may also have members from the partner entities and other organisations.
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