A monumental agreement signed today between Norway and Guyana will mean that up to $250million will be invested in protecting Guyana’s forests to tackle climate change. It is the first time that a nation with a history of conservation will be financially rewarded its continuing efforts to mitigate climate change through protecting its forests.
The agreement between the two nations provides Guyana with an initial payment of $30million dollars into Guyana’s REDD+ (Reduction of Emissions from Deforestation and forest Degradation) development fund and Norway will offer further investment in the country of up to $250million if this initial investment succeeds in reducing emissions and tackling poverty as expected.
Throughout preparations for this bilateral agreement Conservation International has provided advice and support to the Government of Guyana on its Low Carbon Development Strategy – which this agreement supports – and has worked to ensure that the nation’s efforts to protect its forests while offering development opportunities to its people is informed by the best science, effective consultation with local communities and sound monitoring standards.
Dr. Russell A Mittermeier, President of Conservation International, and a world expert on the biodiversity of the Guianas said: “The foresight of both President Jagdeo of Guyana and the Government of Norway deserve real praise – this is a truly monumental agreement that has dramatic positive implications for rainforest countries around the world, and for the global climate. It means a better future for the people of Guyana, and has major implications for other tropical rainforest countries as well.”
Three years ago President Jagdeo said that Guyana might be willing to place its entire rain forest under long-term protection “to help in the world’s fight against climate change, providing our peoples’ sovereignty is respected.” At the signing of the MOU, which took place in the indigenous community of Fairview, the President said “that goal just came closer.”
Dr Fred Boltz CI’s Senior Vice President and Climate Change Lead added: "This is a historic agreement with great relevance to the decisions that must emerge from Copenhagen to ensure that nations with a great conservation history are rewarded for their continued commitment to protecting forests. It is a visionary act, demonstrating the leadership of Guyana and Norway in ensuring the future of the Earth's remaining wilderness areas – forests critical to resolving the global climate crisis and securing the future for all life on Earth.”