In Georgetown: Alejandro Cedeño (592) 223-5036
In Washington: Patricia da Camara (202) 473-4019
GEORGETOWN, Guyana, October 13, 2009 – Government, civil society, and donor representatives met with 16 Amerindian communities at Iwokrama, Nappi and Kamarang to discuss the Government’s proposed REDD strategy to keep forests standing, store carbon, and in return, receive payments from the international community.
Guyana is a lead participant in the Global Forest Carbon Partnership Facility (FCPF), which involves 50 donor and forest countries and is administered by the World Bank to help countries develop REDD strategies.
Guyana is currently refining its Low Carbon Development Strategy (LCDS), which provides an overarching development framework. REDD would be the main financing mechanism for LCDS. Since its launch in June 2009, the LCDS has followed an extensive process of national engagement with stakeholders across the country, including Amerindian communities.
“Adopting a REDD strategy is a key priority for Guyana. The resources garnered from REDD will be used to make Guyana’s economy more climate resilient, provide alternative economic opportunities for all Guyanese, and reduce the long-term pressure on forests,” said Guyana’s President Bharrat Jagdeo at a press conference today. “Together, in a partnership, the Government, and people of Guyana, including our Indigenous Peoples, and the international community will ensure the adoption of a transparent and successful REDD initiative that will benefit us all,” he added.
The multi-stakeholder visit is part of the World Bank’s due diligence process as requested by the FCPF Participants Committee, to approve a preparation grant for Guyana aimed at financing the REDD design phase.
“Communities visited expressed interest in participating in the design of the REDD strategy. They also identified some issues to be further addressed such as deepening and expanding the consultation process; land related matters; the establishment of a revenue sharing mechanism that is mutually acceptable; and the application of World Bank safeguard policies throughout the process,” said Giorgio Valentini, World Bank Country Representative in Guyana. “These matters were raised during the consultations on the LCDS and the government has already committed to addressing them,” he added.
A US$200,000 seed grant will be provided to support further REDD formulation efforts. The grant will fund technical studies coordinated by the Forestry Commission and information efforts and community awareness activities coordinated by the National Toshao’s Council.
“We welcome the mission’s interest to include Amerindian communities in the dialogue and fully participate in the design phase of REDD. We look forward to a fruitful collaboration for the good of the Amerindian people taking into account the issues they raised,” said Yvonne Pearson, Chair of the National Toshao’s Council.
Leaders of 187 countries will meet in Copenhagen, Denmark, in December to discuss a new global agreement to reduce climate change, which hopefully will include forests, providing a new opportunity for income for the people of Guyana.
In Guyana, the specific rules for REDD will need to be defined through a participatory process, and REDD would be the funding mechanism of the LCDS.
The joint multi-stakeholder mission was led by Pauline Campbell-Sukhai, Minister of Amerindian Affairs; James Singh, Guyana’s Forestry Commissioner; and Yvonne Pearson, Chair of the National Toshao’s Council. It included representatives of the Guyana REDD Secretariat, the World Bank, the United States and the United Kingdom (two main FCPF contributors), the Amerindian Action Movement of Guyana, the National Amerindian Development Foundation, the Amerindian Peoples Association, the Guyanese Organization of Indigenous Peoples, Conservation International, World Wildlife Fund, Iwokrama, and the two national LCDS monitors from the International Institute of Environment and Development (IIED).
A report of the field trip will be posted shortly on http://www.forestry.gov.gy. Guyana’s draft REDD proposal is also available there and is open for comments and suggestions.
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