I noted that President Jagdeo, the chairman of the MSSC, is one of the MSSC members who did not sign the MSSC letter (‘LCDS group upset at call to delay Norway funds’ SN news item, March 31).
The MSSC does not appear to have read the eight points open letter to Minister Erik Solheim, which does not seek to prevent a transfer of funds. Nor apparently did the President’s Office of Climate Change, nor the various government ghost writers who all appear to be using the same computer to send their letters to REDD Monitor on this subject (http://www.redd-monitor.org/). The original wording was “we believe there is no present justification for the release of the Norwegian funds already in the GRIF, nor for transfer of a second tranche for 2010-11. The Government of Guyana has substantially failed to implement the MoU, either in spirit or in practice.”
The government could respond by doing more than forming non-functioning government-dominated committees. Moreover, the open letter does not question the credentials of the Rainforest Alliance or Poyry New Zealand but does note the weakness of the reports from both organizations.
The MSSC has not contributed to the debate on the equivalence of the safeguards offered by GRIF Partner Entities in the separate context of the Forest Carbon Partnership Facility (for which the Guyana Forestry Commission is the local point of contact), and the published MSSC minutes (at last updated to January 26, 2011) do not record any debate on criteria for or selection of these Partner Entities. So it is unclear on what basis the MSSC is now offering an opinion.I suggest that the current debate being carried out through letters to editors and blog replies would be more rationally conducted in an open, transparent and independently facilitated forum on options for national development, like the National Development Strategy process of 1995-6. Independent chairmanship, recommended by the IIED report of November 2009 on the LCDS hinterland and miners’ consultations and urban awareness sessions, would avoid the current conflict of interest affecting the Head of State and chief proponent of his Low Carbon Development Strategy.