Wednesday, October 14, 2009

World Bank hails Jagdeo’s climate change outreach

‘ALL SMILES’: President Bharrat Jagdeo, World Bank Officials and some of the stakeholders at the Office of the President yesterday.

The World Bank yesterday reiterated its support for Guyana’s climate change thrust as a due diligence mission ended what officials said was a successful field trip as part of the preparatory phase to support this country’s model.

During last week, a 22-member team, including bank officials, government, civil society and donor representatives met 16 Amerindian communities at Iwokrama, Nappi and Kamarang to discuss the government’s proposed Reduced Emissions from Deforestation and Degradation (REDD) strategy to keep forests standing, store carbon, and in return, receive payments from the international community.

At a press conference with President Bharrat Jagdeo at the Office of the President complex in Georgetown yesterday, team members commended Guyana for its open, transparent and intensive consultations and other approaches centred on the proposed Low Carbon Development Strategy (LCDS).

REDD is to be the main financing mechanism for the LCDS and President Jagdeo said Guyana is very pleased with the engagements so far with the international community to develop its approach to climate change.

“We are pleased with the good partnership that we have developed with the multilateral institutions and with our other international partners”, he said.

He recalled expressing concern earlier this year that “old tools” may have been used in an entirely new area in creating a framework and incentives within that framework to ensure sustainable development friendly to the environment and that would not result in significant climate change.

He said that since then he has seen a “great willingness on the part of the donors – the multilateral institutions and other partners – to work in a collaborative fashion to develop new tools…approaches to this issue. For this we are very grateful”, the President said.

Guyana is leading a group of 37 countries around the world that stand to benefit from the World Bank’s Forest Carbon Partnership Facility (FCPF), a Multi-Donor Trust Fund (MDTF) administered by the World Bank.

World Bank Guyana Country Representative, Mr. Giorgio Valentini, who has persistently backed the Guyana Government’s thrust, yesterday maintained his stand, saying the bank was proud to be partnering Guyana in this project.

The visiting mission included representatives from the United States and the United Kingdom, two of the FCPF donor countries, and it was the final assessment before anticipated approval of support for Guyana under the trust fund.

The visit, organised by the Guyana Forestry Commission (GFC), was financed by the World Bank and the British Department For International Development (DFID).

Others on the field trip were representatives from Conservation International, the World Wildlife Fund, the four non-governmental organisations involved in Amerindian affairs, the Amerindian Affairs Ministry, Ms. Yvonne Pearson - Chairperson of the National Toshaos Council, among others.

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