Some 500 projects are being implemented in indigenous communities funded through the US$37.5 million REDD+ carbon credits programme. The government has expressed assurances that transparency is an integral pillar in the implementation of the programme.
Vice President, Dr Bharrat Jagdeo made the assurance during a briefing session on Friday at the Arthur Chung Conference Centre (ACCC) on the expanded Low Carbon Development Strategy (LCDS 2030) and Guyana’s Carbon Credit Programme as well as Guyana’s preparations to attend the upcoming COP 28. Present at the briefing were members of the diplomatic corps, other developmental partners, Amerindian Leaders, and several ministers of government.
In his response to issues raised by the diplomatic community, VP Jagdeo explained that the country has learnt a lot of lessons from the Norway-Guyana Partnership signed in 2009.
“We said let’s create a model to show that all the issues that were raised by the developed world particularly as to why you can’t have forests be part of a compliance market…. And there were several concerns… One, will it be permanent, two, can you measure changes in the forest, three, will it harm indigenous peoples’ rights, four, will the money be spent without corruption? So, the model that we built focused on every one of those issues,” he explained.
The vice president underscored that transparency is not being compromised since a strict mechanism is in place to ensure that every cent that is being funnelled into the economies of Amerindian communities will be accounted for.
Funds are being disbursed in separate bank accounts owned by the respective villages and a special audit will be conducted to ensure that monies that are being expended, are being spent on priority projects.
“We’re implementing 500 projects this year in indigenous communities and we’re not compromising on transparency or community involvement … in fact, we’re building capacity in these villages,” the vice president underscored.
Importantly, the vice president highlighted that by giving leaders the responsibility of developing their villages, equipping them with plans to ensure sustainability and the ability to manage their finances, capacity is being built to properly manage the funds that are being provided.
“A very important task for us now and the future as more and more funds go into these villages, not only through the LCDS2030 but directly through central government …. Capacity building to manage projects and to account for finances is more important and I have seen the growth of that in these villages,” Dr Jagdeo emphasised.
Also at the briefing was the Senior Minister in the Office of the President with responsibility for Finance, Dr Ashni Singh, Minister of Natural Resources, Vickram Bharrat, Minister of Amerindian Affairs, Pauline Sukhai, Minister of Agriculture, Zulfikar Mustapha and the National Toshao Council (NTC) Chairperson Derrick John. [Department of Public Information]