Verification report on deforestation rate completed

The verification of Guyana’s deforestation rate for Year 3 of the Guyana-Norway forests protection partnership has been completed and is expected to be released soon.

“The verification work has been completed, and the report is expected to be finalized within a few weeks’ time,” Andreas Tveteraas, Deputy Director of the Norwegian Climate and Forest Initiative told Stabroek News last week.

The preliminary report on deforestation rates for the year 2012, compiled by the Guyana Forestry Commission (GFC) and the forestry consulting firm Indufor, showed that Guyana’s deforestation rate has jumped to 0.079% in the Year 3 reporting period (2012), from 0.054% in the Year 2 reporting period (2011).

Asked by how much payments are going to be affected, Tveteraas said that they could not state the final payment at that point. “Any increase in deforestation will be reflected in future payments, as set forth in the agreement,” he added.

Under the Guyana-Norway partnership, payments are result-based with deforestation and forest degradation measured against an agreed level. Guyana could earn up to US$250 million from Oslo in performance-based payments for the period up until 2015, based on an independent verification of Guyana’s deforestation and forest degradation rates and progress on REDD+ enabling activities.

In November, following the release of the Year 3 report, Minister of Natural Resources and the Environment Robert Persaud had said that Guyana will lose out on around US$20M of the payment it would have received in the forest protection agreement, once increased deforestation is confirmed by the independent verification exercise.

The last payment was in 2012 when Norway announced that it would pay US$45 million into the Guyana REDD+ Investment Fund (GRIF) bringing the total contribution from Oslo under the Norway-Guyana climate and forest partnership to US$115 million since 2009.

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