Guyana team plays up forest, climate credentials in Oslo

Minister of Natural Resources and the En-vironment Robert Persaud earlier this week met Norwegian officials in Oslo where he highlighted Guyana’s progress in protecting its forest in the fight against climate change.

“The mission concluded on a high note, with broad recognition that among Guyana’s significant achievements have been the development of a credible and robust Monitoring Reporting and Verification System for REDD+, advancements of several projects under the LCDS, and concrete plans made for taking the next steps forward including in forest governance programmes such as EU Forest Law Enforcement Governance and Trade and the Extractive Industries Transparency Initiative,” a statement from the ministry said yesterday.

Persaud’s delegation to Oslo included Pradeepa Bholanath – Head of the Planning and Development Division of the Guyana Forestry Commission and Kapil Mohabir – Head of the Project Management Office of the Office of the President.

Norwegian Minister of Climate and Environment Tine Sundtoft with Minister of Natural Resources Robert Persaud (Ministry of Natural Resources photo)
Norwegian Minister of Climate and Environment Tine Sundtoft with Minister of Natural Resources Robert Persaud (Ministry of Natural Resources photo)

“The goal of the mission was to exchange strategic views regarding the existing partnership between Guyana and Norway, the global climate agenda and progress towards the Conference of Parties of the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (CoP 21), planned for Paris in December this year,” the statement said.

Guyana and Norway in 2009 inked a REDD+ partnership under which Oslo will pay for Guyana’s performance on limiting greenhouse gas emissions from deforestation and forest degradation, and for progress made against governance-related indicators. REDD+ is a global initiative that aims to reduce greenhouse gas emissions from deforestation and forest degradation.

Norway’s payments to Guyana may amount to approximately US$250 million over the period to 2015, depending on Guyana’s performance.

The statement said that among the main highlights of the mission was a meeting with Norwegian Minister of Climate and Environment Tine Sundtoft. At the meeting, Persaud expressed Gu-yana’s continued interest in ensuring that forests play an important role in the climate change solution and the importance of REDD+ and climate financing to making those solutions possible, the statement said.

Persaud also met with the Director of the Norwegian Agency for Development Cooperation (NORAD) Villa Kullid, and State Secretary within the Ministry of Climate and the Environment in Norway Lars Andreas Lunde. Technical discussions sessions were also held with officials of Norway’s International Climate and Forest Initiative. In addition, during his two-day visit, Persaud met with officials of the Extractive Industries Transparency Initiative (EITI) Secretariat and expressed Guyana’s commitment to advance the process recognising the importance that the Government of Guyana has placed on effective governance and transparency within the natural resources sector.

“There were also several high level technical discussions on the second day at which Minister Persaud presented updates on Guyana’s Low Carbon Development Strategy (LCDS) and REDD+ programmes, the achievements and progress so far under the Guyana/Norway Cooperation on Climate and Forests, and the challenges and remaining activities in moving forward on Guyana’s strategic agenda on forests and development.

These sessions were attended by Norwegian Government, development agencies, and civil society and provided an opportunity for Minister Persaud and the delegation to interact with a broad range of leading civil society and environmental groups and address a range of matters pertaining to Guyana’s development focus, the LCDS and various projects under the LCDS,” the statement said.

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