Have you ever flown over Guyana? If you have, you’ve probably had an impressive view of forest as far as the eye can see. Almost 80% of Guyana is forest land – and it shows! We have managed to occupy and develop a small percentage of the land while the majority of our forests have been untouched for centuries. Our forests are home to over thousands of species of animals and plants, some of which the rest of the world has never seen!
It turns out that our culture of forest preservation is a boon. We have not only nurtured a healthy relationship with nature, we also provide an invaluable service to the world. Deforestation is one of the leading causes of global warming. By preserving our forests, we reduce carbon emissions and help alleviate the effects of global warming.
REDD+ recognizes this service and compensates us for it. REDD+ is a system through which developing countries can earn money for contributing to climate change mitigation efforts either by reducing greenhouse gas emissions or removing carbon dioxide from the atmosphere by forest land.
CI is a delivery partner for the Guyana-Norway REDD+ Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) of cooperation on biodiversity conservation and climate change. This means that we help to design and oversee projects under this MoU.
CI works with partners to develop a holistic and relevant strategy to implement REDD+ in Guyana as well as supporting a mechanism for tracking deforestation and the implementation of REDD+ policies.
We need to take into consideration the social, environmental and economic impact of REDD+ policies and programs before we end up doing more hard than good. We also need to ensure that information about Guyana’s forest cover is up to date since it is used as a basis for compensation.
A key part of this entire process is continuous consultation with all relevant stakeholders, including government, civil society, indigenous communities and the private sector. Widespread participation is contributing to the development of the REDD+ Strategy as well as the Strategic Environmental and Social Assessment (SESA) and Environment and Social Management Framework (ESMF). We are also working on tracking the forest and carbon measuring.
What we are doing
REDD+ Strategy: The Strategy identifies the major drivers of deforestation and forest degradation and the approaches to tackle them.
Strategic Environmental and Social Assessment (SESA): The SESA is a tool that is used to including social and environmental considerations in plans and policies as well as determine the particular risks associated with REDD+ activities and how to counteract them.
Environment and Social Management Framework (ESMF): The ESMF lays out the guidelines for identifying issues related to REDD+ activities that may occur in the future.
Monitoring, Reporting and Verification System (MRVS): The MRVS is a tool used to track forest degradation and deforestation and the implementation of REDD+ policies.
We’re working with several partners on this project:
- Norway’s International Climate and Forest Initiative
- Forest Carbon Partnership Facility
- Ministry of Natural Resources
- Guyana Forestry Commission
- Inter-American Development Bank
- Winrock International
- Climate Law and Policy
- Sylvan Acres