Guyana and Norway to protect tropical forests

Photo credit: Fabrice DeClerck

Photo: Fabrice DeClerck

President Bharrat Jagdeo of Guyana and Norway’s Minister of the Environment and International Development Erik Solheim signed a Memorandum of Understanding declaring the two countries’ determination to work together to provide the world with a working example of how partnerships between developed and developing countries can save the world’s tropical forests on Nov. 7, reports the Ministry of the Environment

“It will be impossible to defeat climate change if we don’t significantly reduce tropical deforestation”, President Jagdeo emphasized. “We said several years ago that the people of Guyana stood ready to play our part in determining how this can be done. We are delighted to work alongside Norway in searching for solutions that align the development aspirations of our people with the urgent need to protect the world’s tropical forests.”

“Through this partnership, we are building a bridge between developed and developing countries,” stated Mr Solheim. “We are giving the world a workable model for climate change collaboration between North and South. It’s not perfect, but it’s good, and it will be improved upon as we learn and develop together.”

Under the partnership, Guyana will accelerate its efforts to limit forest-based greenhouse gas emissions, and protect its rich rainforest as an asset for the world. Norway will provide financial support to Guyana at a level based on Guyana’s success in limiting emissions. This will enable Guyana to start implementing its low carbon development strategy (LCDS) at scale. In the words of President Jagdeo, “We want to avoid the high-carbon development trajectory that today’s developed world followed.” The LCDS sets out how Guyana can limit forest-based emissions, convert almost its entire energy sector to clean energy, accelerate the development of low-carbon economic sectors and address the huge challenges the country is facing in adapting to climate change. As an illustration, 90% of Guyana’s productive land is threatened by changing weather patterns, and in 2005, floods wiped out the equivalent of 60% of GDP.

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