News story | Date: 2015-05-06 | Ministry of Climate and Environment
The Government of Norway announced today that it will contribute US$40 million to Guyana for maintaining low deforestation rates and continued improvement in forest governance.
The announcement is based on independently verified deforestation and forest degradation rates in 2013 and progress on agreed goals for forest governance reform.
-Guyana still has large areas of pristine rainforest and the country’s deforestation rate is one of the lowest in the world. Norway wishes to support Guyana’s ambition of keeping deforestation low while promoting development and economic growth, says Tine Sundtoft, Minister of Climate and Environment in Norway.
With this fifth consecutive payment over five years, Guyana’s earnings through the Guyana-Norway partnership now totals US$190 million out of a potential US$250 million under the partnership.
According to an independent verification report by DNV GL, Guyana’s rate of deforestation declined by 14% from the 2012 levels. Guyana’s annual deforestation rate in 2013 was at 0.068%, which was one of the lowest in the world, and less than 15% of the average for all tropical countries.
Guyana has demonstrated significant progress on the enabling activities by successfully meeting all the milestones set for this period. Increased communication and active multi-stakeholder engagement; efforts towards application for candidacy of the Extractive Industries Transparency Initiative (EITI); and work on an opt-in mechanism that will allow indigenous communities to directly benefit from REDD+ payments are all progressing according to plan. Momentum on all these areas will be further strengthened going forward.
The payments under the Norway-Guyana partnership are allocated to support the implementation of Guyana’s Low Carbon Development Strategy (LCDS). To date, seven LCDS investments are generating development outcomes and supporting sustainable forest management practices across the country. In the hinterland, the LCDS is currently strengthening land tenure security for Amerindians and supporting 186 Amerindian villages to stimulate community-driven investment in improving livelihoods. The LCDS is also stimulating the growth of micro and small enterprises and will begin investing in strategic adaptation initiatives, such as rehabilitating and strengthening flood prevention infrastructure in the coastal region in the coming months.
- Guyana is planning to use the funds from Norway to increase internet access in remote indigenous communities, support low-carbon businesses, establish a research center for the country’s unique biodiversity and strengthen critical adaptation infrastructure both against coastal flooding and droughts in the hinterland. I am glad that money from Norway can contribute to development in so many important sectors, says Minister Sundtoft.
Guyana’s eligibility for the 6th and final payment under the current partnership will be based on 2014 deforestation and progress against a set of enabling indicator milestones captured in the updated Guyana-Norway Joint Concept Note released today by the two governments.
The two governments have shown their strong commitment to reducing deforestation, protecting biodiversity and supporting forest communities – and the Guyana-Norway partnership has helped to identify several issues and offered potential solutions to reduce deforestation through a global REDD+ mechanism.
The two governments support the inclusion of REDD+ in an ambitious, binding climate agreement under the United Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) to be agreed in Paris in December 2015, and come into effect from 2020. They also support strong climate mitigation action before 2020, and both countries are signatories to the New York Declaration on Forests, which calls for ambitious action before the climate agreement comes into force.
As the current partnership is coming to an end after the 6th payment, the Governments of Guyana and Norway are now exploring opportunities for continued collaboration towards the Paris Climate summit, and discussing the possibility of a renewed partnership for the period from 2015-2020.