President Bharrat Jagdeo says it is important for Guyana to either enter into
a bilateral agreement or be a part of a market-based carbon trading regime so
that it could raise the resources necessary for the fight against climate
He said that Guyana is still negotiating bilateral arrangements with the United
Kingdom and expressed the hope that the country is able to benefit from this
until a post-Kyoto arrangement is finalised.
Speaking at a press conference held at State House on Saturday, the President
re-emphasised Guyana's vulnerability to the challenges of climate change and its
need for assistance for the necessary mitigation and adaptation efforts.
During the Commonwealth Finance Ministers Meeting in October President Bharrat
Jagdeo said Guyana was willing to deploy almost its entire forest in the service
of the battle against climate change and this drew the ire of some and caused
anxiety to others. The Ministry of Agriculture, in offering clarification, said
that under this offer not a single hectare of forest will be sold and forestry
and mining activities will continue in a sustainable manner.
"We have seen the impact of climate change in terms of adverse weather patterns.
We can't support mitigation and adaptation from our treasury," the President
said. He noted that the present process for accessing funds for mitigation and
adaptation is a laborious one. "We have expectations that the 2012 post-Kyoto
Protocol will provide an established approach," he noted.
"We are saying that tropical deforestation is the major cause of climate change.
We hope for a market based mechanism [post-Kyoto]," he said.
"I am not very happy with what came out of Baliâ€¦[the United States] needed to
make deeper cuts to greenhouse emissions," Jagdeo said. He was alluding to the
fact that the United States wasn't comfortable with the level of cuts that the
conference was recommending and had put forward their own levels leading to a
compromise being reached. The contretemps between the US and other nations
caused the conference to drag on for at least one extra day.
Turning to the Government's stewardship of the forests, Jagdeo said: "We have a
very strict system to effectively monitor what happens. We are also looking at
higher recovery rates [from logs harvested]." Jagdeo also stated that more will
be done to monitor mining and ensure that miners don't cause damage to the
environment through their activities.
Minister of Agriculture Robert Persaud speaking in Bali in December, said Guyana
will continue to deal with climate change including its forest management which
is based on the principles of sustainable development. He said that this takes
into account sustainable use and conservation which is evident in the work of
the Iwokrama Rainforest Conservation and Development Programme.
Guyana and other rainforest countries have been lobbying for adequate
compensation for standing forests and a market-based mechanism to be put in
place as discussions are ongoing on a post 2012 Kyoto Protocol. The Adaptation
Fund, Development and Transfer of Technologies and Capacity Building were also
According to the Ministry of Agriculture, Guyana's primary positions put forward
at the Conference were incentives for standing forests, the need for more
support for adaptation measures and support with access to technology.
During the Bali summit Guyana had expressed an interest in the Forest Carbon
Partnership Facility (FCPF) launched to combat tropical deforestation and
climate change. According to the World Bank, the FCPF is expected to build the
capacity of developing countries in the tropical and sub-tropical regions to
reduce emissions from deforestation and degradation (REDD) and tap into a future
system of positive incentives for REDD. Additionally, the facility aims to
support countries and the REDD strategy with a commitment to ensure
consultations with indigenous people, forest dwellers and other stakeholders at
the national level. It is envisaged that FCPF's resources can be used in a new
climate change regime negotiated after 2012, when the first commitment period of
the Kyoto Protocol ends.