The Norwegian Government will pay Guyana some US $35M for the global climate services provided by the forest
during 2012. This announcement was made yesterday by Head of State Donald Ramotar at a press briefing at the Office of the President.
The latest payment will bring the total funds earned under the partnership to US$ 150 million, President Ramotar told reporters. According to the President, the announcement comes as a strong rebuttal to those who have tried for several years, to kill the Low Carbon Development Strategy (LCDS) and the Guyana-Norway partnership.
“For many years, vested interests in Guyana tried repeatedly to prevent our country from receiving this money from Norway. On failing to do so, some politicians tried in three successive national budgets to stop the money from being invested in our people’s future” Ramotar told the media.
“Guyana is on the threshold of achieving what few countries anywhere in the world have managed to achieve” the President noted.
Further, the Head of State said that Guyanese should stop to reflect on the fact that government has spent five years building the foundations of a genuinely low carbon economy. He said that government is maintaining 99.5% of the forest, and showing the world that it is possible to do this while simultaneously generating jobs and economic growth from sustainable forestry and mining practices.
“New low carbon economic sectors are growing fast; small businesses are creating low carbon jobs, Amerindians are achieving secure tenure over their land; and we are starting to invest in critical flood protection infrastructure” the President posited.
The President continued to maintain that the country’s LCDS is grounded in recognition that climate change is a clear expression of the inequality and injustice that exist in the world. He said that this is a problem primarily caused by rich countries, but whose negative impact is felt primarily by poor countries. He said five years ago Guyana was one of the first countries who attempted to correct the global injustice.
Moreover, Ramotar said that in coming months the independent, international validation of deforestation rates in 2013 will be completed. He said that Guyana will receive the fifth payment under the country’s partnership with Norway.
The President said that it is expected that this will bring an even higher payment, bringing the total amount earned thus far close to US$200 million, all of which is being invested in Guyana,‘s Low Carbon Development Strategy.
It hasn’t been an easy road at times…..
Despite setbacks, the President said that the country has prevailed and money is now flowing into the priority investments, both from the country’s own budgetary resources and from the money received from Norway.
He said that most of the money is now allocated to transformative projects, and in most cases, is flowing to create real benefits for Guyanese.
He said that over 11,000 Amerindian homes have electricity for the first time powered by solar units. “ Low carbon industries are growing fast… ecotourism in the Rupununi is growing by 20% a year, our business process outsourcing sector has more than doubled employment in less than five years, and we are seeing innovative initiatives in agricultural development” Ramotar explained.
Using money received from Norway for climate services, the President said that government is working with local banks and other financial institutions to stimulate the creation of 2,200 low carbon jobs over three years in small businesses and vulnerable communities.
The payments from Norway are also enabling the advancement of the LCDS Amerindian Development Fund the President disclosed.
Back in August, Head of the Presidential Secretariat Dr. Roger Luncheon had said, that there needs to be a comprehensive review and examination of the Guyana/Norway Forest Agreement. According to Luncheon, this would be the best way of defining how well Guyana has performed, particularly in reference to its obligations.
NORAD in its latest report released in August, had confirmed that Guyana could have lost US$20 million as a result of increased deforestation in Year 3 (2012) of the Guyana-Norway forest protection partnership. NORAD is a directorate under the Norwegian Ministry of Foreign Affairs, and since 2010, has been monitoring Norway’s International Climate and Forest Initiative (NICFI) the programme under which Guyana is paid to protect its forest.
Guyana and Norway in 2009 inked a REDD+ partnership under which Oslo will pay for Guyana’s performance on limiting greenhouse gas emissions from deforestation and forest degradation, and for progress made against governance-related indicators.
REDD+ is a global initiative that aims to reduce greenhouse gas emissions from deforestation and forest degradation. Norway’s payments to Guyana may amount to approximately US$250 million over the period to 2015, depending on Guyana’s performance.
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