There should be no politicking over the disbursement of LCDS money from Norway

Dear Editor,

In reference to calls by a few for the Norway government to withhold disbursement of funds for LCDS to Guyana, and counter calls from LCDS backers to continue disbursement of the money, I am confident visiting Minister Solheim will make the right decision as per the Memorandum of Understanding signed between the two nations.  That is what really matters in the end, not politicking.  Once the Guyana government honours the agreement, and so far people I have spoken with say there is no credible evidence that the agreement is not being honoured, Norway must commit to its end of the deal.

It is not clear to many I have spoken with why the funds should be delayed when they are needed for the preservation of the environment and to achieve developmental goals, especially money committed to uplifting the indigenous communities.

As Guyanese, we all should seek to promote the enforcement of the MOU between our nation and Norway for it benefits us, and most of the funds go to impoverished hinterland communities.

I endorse wide citizen participation in the airing of views on the execution of the MOU. The views of a few are not representative of the population. All concerned parties and individuals should be consulted and they should freely express their view on whether the government has been faithfully carrying out the spirit of the agreement. Whatever concerns individuals have and proposals for the better implementation of the MOU (or improved LCDS) should be directed to the Office of Climate Change (OCC) in a civil manner.  As David Yhann said, everyone should be allowed to contribute to the delivery of LCDS objectives. The OCC should evaluate legitimate issues raised by opponents and critics to improve their work.  We haven’t seen complaints of the OCC failing to take into consideration the views of the public or government opponents or critics.

Politicking from either side will not serve Guyana’s interest and many I have spoken with feel this is the motive behind opponents of LCDS and the government. We should not criticize for the  sake of criticizing, just because we don’t like the government or the people in charge of LCDS and OCC.  We all need to work together  to make sure the Norwegians (as well as our government) honour the agreement so we get the funds as committed to execute the objectives of the low carbon strategy.

So far, people I have spoken to say they have not seen any credible evidence that the Guyana government has failed to honour the MOU with Norway.  It is noted that where the Norwegian government had concerns, as expressed towards the end of last year, the Guyana government resolved them and money was released.  Money should not be withheld for LCDS once it is accounted for.

Yours faithfully,
Vishnu Bisram

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