IDB to administer carbon partnership grant

Guyana will now tap a US$200,000 grant under the Forest Carbon Partnership Facility (FCPF) from the Inter-American Development Bank (IDB), after a previous pact with the World Bank was cancelled.

An agreement was signed last year with the World Bank for the grant, which is for preparation and information sharing activities here under the forests initiative, but the money was not disbursed.

A progress report this month on countries participating in the FCPF said that the Formulation Grant agreement was signed but cancelled on January 18, 2011. It noted that Guyana had requested to access the Grant through the IDB on November 17 last year. When contacted, Agriculture Minister, Robert Persaud explained that the agreement was not cancelled but would be transferred to the IDB. The World Bank has since approved Guyana’s request for the IDB to perform the services as Delivery partner.

The FCPF is a window under the World Bank to enable countries to be prepared to access financing under this and other forest carbon financing mechanism. It came about as a result of the international debate and dialogue on climate change.

The first step under the process was the preparation and submission of a Readiness Plan Idea Note (RPIN). Guyana’s RPIN was approved in June 2008.

Guyana then began work on the next phase which was Readiness Preparation Plan (RPP). Guyana was one of the first countries to submit and got approval for its RPP.  Several revisions were done to the RPP to incorporate stakeholder’s comments. The Readiness Preparation Plan was subsequently changed to Readiness Preparation Pro-posal which under went further multiple revisions. Preparation activities under this process are geared towards sustainable forest management, conservation and enhancement of forest carbon stocks.

It is not clear when Guyana will now be able to access the formulation grant. The objective of the grant, among other things, was to assist Guyana to formulate a RPP and enhance access to information for key-stakeholder groups.

The National Toshaos Council (NTC) was to have received US$70 000 while the Guyana Forestry Com-mission (GFC) would have received US$130 000.

The grant to the NTC was for initial information-sharing and awareness-raising for indigenous communities on climate change, Reducing Emissions from Deforestation and Forest Degradation (REDD), and related issues such as carbon measurement and World Bank social and environmental safeguards, and also including production of communication outlets, through the provision of technical advisory services, provision of operating costs, and conducting workshops.

The grant to the GFC was for initial information-sharing and awareness-raising for other stakeholders on the same issues as well as for Technical studies on methodologies and models for forest carbon stock assessment; and methodologies for baseline assessment of historical carbon emissions from deforestation and degradation.

Last year, Persaud had complained about the degree of scrutiny faced by Guyana and noted that several countries had received grants of US$200 000 earlier last year despite their RPIN being approved after Guyana’s. Guyana was one of 14 developing countries selected as the first states to receive money.

Meanwhile the progress report said that due diligence is underway in view of the Preparation Grant. The Facility Management Team awaits the final RPP submission to conduct its completeness check, it added.