The US$250M which Guyana stands to receive by 2015 to support and protect Guyana’s tropical forests through the implementation of the Low Carbon Development Strategy (LCDS) represents more than the combined loans and grants on an annual basis from lending agencies including the World Bank, the Inter-American Development Bank (IDB), the Caribbean Development Bank (CDB) and the European Commission (EU). At no time in the past, in our entire history, has so much money been pledged to our country on a single occasion.
This comes amidst all the predictions of failure from the prophets of doom. One commenter even went as far as predicting non agreement at Copenhagen using a resounding warning to his peers by the British Prime Minister.
However, the Norwegian Minister of International Development and the Environment, Erik Solheim, Monday said that he was very pleased to be working closely with President Bharrat Jagdeo as he was quite impressed by the Head of State when they first met in New York in September when President Jagdeo was attending the 64th United Nations General Assembly and this along with other considerations, no doubt, led to the signing of the MOU.
As for those who are predicting failure at Copenhagen, President Jagdeo on Monday rightfully declared, “This is our (Guyana’s) Copenhagen”. As even if the agreement to be taken to Copenhagen finds favour with funding, it would take almost four years before the first funds would emerge from the process, in accordance with the protocol.
The US$250M commitment by Norway should also be viewed as an addition to whatever funds are accrued in Copenhagen and will be to the benefit of a number of activities involving miners and coastal and indigenous residents.