By Kurt Campbell
[www.inewsguyana.com] – Finance Minister Dr. Ashni Singh told reporters on Friday (January 31) that Guyana has utilized approximately GYD$800M from its Norway funds for its climate services in maintaining extremely low levels of deforestation while advancing the nation’s landmark Low Carbon Development Strategy (LCDS).
The Finance Minister said the money which was expected to flow to important climate change and poverty alleviation investments that will improve the overall economy, support Amerindian peoples’ development and land rights while keeping carbon pollution well below the rates of leading developed countries has begun to do just that. The total Norway fund is US$250M.
He explained that the money was placed into a Trust Fund administered by the World Bank and is being released to donor partners (IDB, UNDP) as the appropriate needs arises, where collaboration is then formed with Government to implement the project.
“Currently we are doing institutional strengthening and capacity building with climate change agencies… with the IDB,” Dr. Singh said. He added that there are also working on the Amerindian Development Fund Project with the United Nations Development Fund (UNDP) to develop Amerindians and their communities economically and socially.
Dr. Singh has promised that a more accurate and detailed explanation on how the funds from Norway has been utilized will be presented in the national 2014 Budget.
The contribution from Norway is part of an agreement between the two nations, which was announced when former President, Bharrat Jagdeo and former Minister of Environment of Norway, Erik Solheim signed an agreement in Fairview in November 2009.
The partnership’s progress is governed by terms set out in a Joint Concept Note (JCN). The JCN seeks to create a replicable model that can lead to a global framework for action on forest climate issues. Under this model, Guyana is paid for delivering results against a set of key carbon and other metrics, which are verified by independent auditors.