May 14, 2022 News
LCDS Series Pt 5…
Kaieteur News – Since 2010, local authorities have focused much of their attention on the payment for performance mechanism centered on maintaining Guyana’s forest carbon services. In fact, the process has proven to be a lucrative one with the country earning US$212M in a five year period via an arrangement with the Kingdom of Norway and financing which went back into implementing low carbon programmes including Amerindian development, solar energy, climate adaptation, and micro and small enterprises.
While Guyana is expected to continue with the marketing of its carbon services in the years to come, the scope is expected to be broadened as a means of growing the low-carbon economy. Towards this end, Guyana by way of its Low Carbon Development Strategy (LCDS)2030 will examine several ecosystem services programmes that may be applicable to the country’s circumstances.
For those who may not be aware, ecosystem functions are the full suite of services provided by the natural environment that are vital to human health and livelihoods. These services are the basis for the supply of food, drinking water and in some cases protection against the effects of natural disasters.
Some of these schemes the country is interested in investing in include those focused on freshwater management and biodiversity protection.
According to LCDS 2030, support will be given to the development of a national water management strategy for Guyana that addresses surface water, ground water, rain water, as well as watershed management.
Support will also be given to the development of a framework for leveraging Guyana’s rich biodiversity and natural capital for social, economic, and environmental development in a low-carbon development trajectory.
Furthermore, the LCDS 2030 approaches development from an ecosystems approach, with Forestry and Biodiversity Protection integrated into the document.
The following interventions are expected to be included:
• Expansion and restoration of Guyana’s mangrove forests and ecosystems.
• Examination of Green-Grey Solutions (Engineered Infrastructure-Mangroves) utilising mangroves in Guyana’s coastal protection.
• Strengthening and expanding Guyana’s National Protected Area System
• Maintenance of intact forest landscapes and watersheds.
• Building local capacity for implementation of payment for ecosystem services mechanism
ABOUT LCDS 2030
LCDS 2030 outlines how the Government of Guyana will accelerate economic growth and development in a non-polluting, low carbon way. It outlines how Guyana will utilize and monetize its natural resources such as its lush and pristine forests in a sustainable manner so as to combat the impacts of climate change.
The document also ensures the country’s world-class forests, biodiversity, water, and marine resources are valued for the vital contribution they make to the health of the planet.
The current draft that was launched by President, Dr. Irfaan Ali in late 2021 is undergoing a period of consultation with citizens on how the nation can re-double its efforts towards achieving the outlined vision, the roots of which can be traced back to 2009.
In 2009, Guyana had launched the first Low-carbon Development Strategy as a developing country, setting out a vision for inclusive, sustainable development, while simultaneously maintaining the country’s forests, about 85% of the country’s territory, to help meet some of the most urgent challenges the world faces.
There is no doubt that Guyana intends to stay true to the vision set out in 2009 which is to create a model low-carbon economy for the world.
Since 2009 however, local authorities have gained a greater understanding of the outsized contribution Guyana’s ecosystems make to the world’s health and economy, as well as its role as one of the world’s most important countries for biodiversity conservation.
Here are some interesting facts about the important role Guyana’s forests play as noted in the LCDS 2030.
• Guyana has the second-highest percentage of forest cover on earth and is working with partners to sustain 99.5% of that forest while building the foundation for a new low carbon, ecosystem economy. The government has said it expects to tap opportunities to access a market mechanism for forest climate services and other ecosystem services. This will enable Guyana to store 19.5 billion tonnes of carbon dioxide equivalent (the measure used for greenhouse gas emissions).
• Deforestation rates are among the lowest in the world and Guyana is one of only four countries in the world (and one of only two in the Amazon Basin) verified to have sustained a High Forest Low Deforestation (HFLD) state.
• Guyana is one of four countries which host the Guiana Shield, one of the most pristine rainforest landscapes in the world. The Guiana Shield stores around 18% of the world’s tropical forest carbon and 20% of the world’s fresh water.
• Guyana has already earned income for ecosystem services. Over the period 2010 to 2015, the Guyana Norway Agreement on climate and forests saw Guyana earning US$220 million which saw over 2,000 jobs created under the micro and small enterprise project; 180 communities and villages received funding to strengthen entrepreneurship in Amerindian village economies; the Amerindian Land Titling Programme advanced with 13 villages issued with Absolute Grants, bringing the total number of Absolute Grants to 109. Furthermore, 21 villages were demarcated, 19 were issued with certificates of title, bringing total Certificates of Title to 96. Additionally, more than 500 villagers were trained in Free Prior and Informed Consent (FPIC), mediation and awareness exercises. Importantly, the Guyana Norway Agreement provided financing for the rehabilitation of the Cunha Canal, provided finance for the first utility-scale solar project in Guyana, and is financing the establishment of 200 ICT hubs in hinterland and rural areas.
LCDS 2030 is currently undergoing a period of national consultation. Once this is completed, the LCDS will be finalised and then tabled in the National Assembly.
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