French delegation discusses regional forests project

A delegation from the French National Forest Office (ONF) arrived here last week to prepare for the official launching of the regional platform for the development of a REDD+ programme [Reducing Emissions from Deforestation and Degradation of forests in developing countries] across the Guiana Shield.

According to a release from the Office of Climate Change, the delegation comprising Jason Cassata, Cooperation Attaché at the French Embassy in Suriname, Nicolas Karr, Director Regional Office in French Guiana, and Boris Romaguer, Project Leader on the REDD+ Guiana Shield Programme met with Advisor to the President and Head, Office of Climate Change, Shyam Nokta and team, inclusive of a representative from the Guyana Forestry Commission on April 3.

The release said that the delegation discussed key issues related to REDD+, Guyana’s REDD+ efforts as well as the regional platform for the development of a REDD+ programme across the Guiana Shield.  The Regional Platform REDD+ Development Programme, a component of a larger project, is expected to be launched at the end of May.  Its ultimate aim includes the reduction of greenhouse gases associated with deforestation and forest degradation in French Guiana, Suriname, Guyana, and the Brazilian State of Amapá.

The wider project will be executed by the French Ministry of Foreign Affairs and it aims to share the resources and expertise of forest administration of France with Suriname, Guyana, and the Brazilian State of Amapá in order to develop the technical skills for the joint implementation of REDD+ in the Guiana Shield.  The project will also involve close collaboration with non-governmental organisations, research centres, and representatives of indigenous peoples and international donors active in the Guiana Shield Region.

The release said that the Guiana Shield holds diverse ecosystems and the immense potential of the region to protect and maintain ecosystems and their services to address the issues associated with climate change has been widely recognised.  In particular, the genesis of this engagement stemmed from a meeting with former President Bharrat Jagdeo and the ministers of environment of France and Suriname at the Climate Conference in Poznan, Poland in December 2008.

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