By Kurt Campbell
In late 2009, the Governments of Guyana and Norway signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) through which Norway committed to providing financial support of up to US$250 million until 2015 if Guyana limited emissions from deforestation and forest degradation.
Cabinet Secretary Dr. Roger Luncheon said today [Thursday, August 21], that a comprehensive review and examination of Guyana’s collaboration is the best way of defining how well the countryhas performed, particularly in reference to its obligation under the agreement.
Having satisfied the indicators of the MoU, Guyana has already received three sets of performance based payments totaling US$115 million. This fourth payment will determine how well the country has done under the most recent review.
Luncheon recalled that the administration had taken a position not to issue any new leases in forestry; adding that so far the monitoring, reporting and verification (MRV) story has been a success.
He said too that the administration anticipates further successes arising from the fourth payment; adding that the MRV has been a success at both the national and sub national levels
The Office of Climate Change (OCC) and the Guyana Forestry Commission (GFC) are the two agencies responsible for preparing Guyana’s reports on Indicators of Enabling Activities and REDD+ Performance Indicators, respectively. The Governments of Guyana and Norway have agreed to have these reports independently verified and assessed as part of the process for receiving payments.
A recent report done by a group of consultants, had blamed mining activities for contributing largely to deforestation. To this end Dr. Luncheon said the administration will continue to pursue sustainable mining. He said while honoring the obligations remain paramount, mining remains an important sector to the national economy.
“Our partnership with Norway is not all honkeydoorey, everything is going nice thank you Jesus, to say that will be an over estimation,” Luncheon said; adding that “There are some concerns on record we have raised with Norway in the context of an extension of the partnership beyond 2015. It points to the need for reform addressing the extension in a smoother, more predictable and faster financing on the initiative.”
Luncheon believes the full realization of the promise behind REDD+ financing continues to elude developing countries; adding that the shining star in what has developed is Norway and its development aid agenda.