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Guyana still open to carbon credits forest deal with UK

Source:  Copyright 2008, Stabroak News
Date:  January 7, 2008
Byline:  Johann Earle
Original URL: Status DEAD

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 change.

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 Bali…[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 discussed.

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.

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