Persaud assures mining, forestry as Guyana signs US$700,000 climate change deal with CI
THE Ministry of Agriculture yesterday signed a US$700,000 agreement with Conservation International (CI-Guyana) to, among other things, support the local Reduced Emissions from Deforestation and Forest Degradation (REDD)+ initiative.
It is titled ‘Avoided Deforestation through Consolidation and Creation of Protected Areas and Carbon Financing Mechanisms in the Guiana Region
(Guyana, Suriname and Brazil)’ and the signing was done at Duke Lodge, Duke Street, Kingston, Georgetown.
The three-year collaborative project is being financed by KFW, a German development bank and Guyana Forestry Commission (GFC).
CI-Guyana Executive Director, Dr David Singh, said the programme will see the establishment of biomass monitoring sites, development of regional communication network, design of a forest port folio for carbon and mapping activities.
Vice-President, Policy and Strategy of the Guianas, Ms. Lisa Feunolare said the deal is timely, in light of the Government of Guyana global fight against climate change and hopes it will be the beginning of a longer term partnership.
Minister of Agriculture, Mr. Robert Persaud, who delivered the main address at the ceremony, said the undertaking is not only in recognition of Guyana’s global leadership role in the climate change fight but its proud track record of sustainable forest management.
He said the programme is significant, in the sense that it will build on existing initiatives, such as the Readiness Preparedness Plan, agreed with the Kingdom of Norway and the wider Low Carbon Development Strategy (LCDS).
“It also represents the growing international support that we have been able to develop in this particular area,” Mr. Persaud told the gathering, including GFC Commissioner, Mr. James Singh and other representatives of the parties involved.
Today, Guyana of such partners as the World Bank, United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change, United Nations REDD Programme, Food and Agriculture Organisation, International Tropical Timber Organisation and the Clinton Climate Initiative.
I think that this is testimony to the confidence people, various agencies and the international community have in the undertaking and the surety of what we say is what we will do,” Persaud said.
He noted that, of late, there has been some misrepresentation in sections of the media, concerning the LCDS, on mining and forestry activities.
Persaud emphasised that the Government does not intend to reduce or shut down those industries and pointed out that President Bharrat Jagdeo and others have made it absolutely clear that sustainable mining and forestry will continue.
Persaud said, long before the LCDS, there has been tension between forest operators and miners and the Government. Unlike in the past, he is looking to reconcile this problem in a formal, comprehensive and environmentally friendly way.
“This is about punitive action, yes, bad occurrences in the mining sector have been allowed to happen for too long without proper enforcement. In the mining sector, from a forestry standpoint, we have not been satisfied in terms of the enforcement.
“We have to ensure that compliance is uniform. I want to encourage miners and all those within the natural resources sector not to be afraid. You don’t have to be afraid if you are complying with the regulations.
“As a nation, we must not compromise on any activity that will endanger our environment or any activity that will harm the patrimony of not only the current but the future generation,” he urged.