Tuesday, October 12, 2010

Norway, World Bank sign pact to set up Guyana REDD+ fund

-L.C.D.S critics should hang their heads in shame

From left to right: Minister of Finance Dr Ashni Singh, State Secretary, Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Norway Ingrid Fiskaa and Vice President for Concessional Finance and Global Partnerships, World Bank Axel van Trotsenburg,

The Guyana REDD+ Investment Fund (GRIF) was established last Saturday with the signing of an administrative agreement between Norway and the World Bank at the World Bank’s headquarters in Washington DC.

And according to a joint press release issued by the Government of Guyana, the Government of Norway and the World Bank, the first payment from Norway of approximately US$30 million is now being processed.
The GRIF is the financial mechanism for the ongoing cooperation on climate change between Guyana and Norway. Norway will pay for Guyana’s performance on limiting greenhouse gas emissions from deforestation and forest degradation, and for progress made against governance-related indicators. Guyana will invest the payments it receives, and any income earned on them, in its Low Carbon Development Strategy (LCDS).

Guyana and Norway have asked the World Bank to act as the trustee of the GRIF, the release said. Norway’s payments to Guyana may amount to approximately US$250 million over the period to 2015, depending on Guyana’s performance, according to a methodology set out by the two countries in November 2009.

On November 9, 2009, Norway and Guyana set out a joint partnership to “work together to provide the world with a working example of how partnerships between developed and developing countries can save the world’s tropical forests.” The partnership is based on the concept of “payment for ecosystem services” and aims to contribute to the creation of a global regime to assign economic value to standing forests, the release said.

One local commentator has noted that the local 'civil society advocates', opposition agents and other self-proclaimed experts who wrote disparagingly of the Norway/Guyana agreement should hang their heads in shame now that the Guyana REDD+ Investment Fund (GRIF) has been established and funding will flow with the cooperation of the World Bank. It was further said that theses folks allowed their dislike for Mr. Jagdeo to dominate clear thinking as they offered dubious expressions on the palpable benefits that would result from the LCDS.

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