Ambassador Hans Brattskar: Your coverage of my comments on the Guyanese-Norwegian climate and forest partnership did not, unfortunately, fully reflect my written responses to your journalists’ questions (‘Independent REDD+ review to be done in next few months…’ Sunday Stabroek, August 01). First, my response was explicit that the first Norwegian contribution into the Guyana REDD+ Investment Fund will be made as soon as that fund is operational, ie, very soon. Your newspaper’s claim that significant delays in that payment could be derived from my written response to your questions, is incorrect. We highly value our climate and forest partnership with the Government of Guyana. We will stand by our commitments.
Second, there was little in my response that you could not have found in the founding documents of the Guyanese-Norwegian Climate and Forest Partnership, the Memorandum of Understanding and Joint Concept Note. (Both documents can be found both at our home page and that of the Government of Guyana.) Those documents, moreover, do not contain ‘conditions’ imposed on Guyana by Norway. Rather, they result from a year-long bilateral dialogue, where both parties views’ and concerns were incorporated. The Partnership is not based on one country telling the other what to do; on safeguards, for example, both parties are not only fully committed to internationally recognized safeguards, the Partnership is actually working on their implementation. More generally, the Partnership is based on a shared vision of what is needed to address climate change globally. This includes clear commitments for both parties, Norway and Guyana.
Third, the nature of this relationship is a fundamentally equitable and reciprocal one. The Government of Guyana is providing an environmental service to the world for which the Government of Norway is willing to pay. The transaction is that of a business relationship. Over time, a formal climate financing regime under the United Nations’ Framework Convention on Climate Change should ensure global rules for these transactions.
President Jagdeo is an active and valued participant in the High Level Advisory Group on climate finance – of which our Prime Minister is one of the co-chairs – and together our two countries are working hard to establish such an international climate finance regime. Beyond its independent value, the Partnership between Guyana and Norway is of paramount importance as an illustration of how an international regime on climate and forests could be structured. It yields tremendous opportunities for learning valuable lessons and creating win-win opportunities.
The situation in Guyana is unique in that climate and forest issues are a general public concern that receive wide media coverage. The Guyanese population is unusually well informed on these issues. It is thus even more important for me to ensure that there are no misunderstandings regarding the Norwegian position.
NOTE: Hon. Ambassador Hans Brattskar please understand that in Guyana there an many ‘setting fowls’.
Stabroek News has unfortunately opened their doors to many of these 'setting fowls' over the last decade or so. No opportunity to criticize the Hon. President and the Government is ever missed. Please do not forget that Stabroek News is also a newspaper that is actively supporting an opposition political party and thus can never be considered to be impartial.