Saturday, June 4, 2011

Norwegians find the current PPP/C government a partner who they can confidently do business with

-Minister of the Environment formally responds to "Gang of 22

The "Gang of 22" who wrote the Norwegian Environment Minister
falsely alleging that the Guyana government failed to implement the agreement

Norway’s Minister of the Environment Erik Solheim is confident about the safeguards for transparency in its forest agreement with Guyana, while noting that none of the consultants hired for verification reports has reported problems with obtaining information from government.

Solheim gave this assurance in reply to a letter sent in late March by several members of civil society as well as two parliamentarians, who wrote him saying that the government here has “substantially failed” to implement the agreement, in which Oslo has committed up to US$250 million ($51.7 billion) by 2015 for Guyana to preserve its forests. Their assertion was rejected by the Office of Climate Change (OCC). However, most of the signatories of the open letter still stand by their original concerns.

Responding recently, Solheim said that he read the letter “with interest”. Through the two countries partnership, he said, Guyana and Norway are exploring new models of cooperation and new ways to meet the challenges of climate change. “We are ‘breaking new ground’ which is not an easy task and we will meet criticism.

But the alternative, doing nothing, cannot be an option,” the Minister said. “We do appreciate feedback. The participation of engaged individuals and civil society is vital in this process,” he added.

Solheim said that it “will not be possible to go into the details of your letter here” but he made some general comments.
The Minister said that the first transfer of funds to the Guyana REDD+ Investment Fund (GRIF) referred to was done to make money available for projects for the Fund to start operating. Read more.....

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