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Environment
Ministerials Paragraphs Related to the Theme Paragraphs VII Summit

- Antigua and Barbuda - Argentina - Bahamas - Barbados - Belize - Bolivia - Brazil - Canada - Chile - Colombia - Costa Rica - Dominica - Dominican Republic - Ecuador - El Salvador - Grenada - Guatemala - Guyana - Haiti - Honduras - Jamaica - Mexico - Nicaragua - Panama - Paraguay - Peru - Saint Kitts and Nevis - Saint Lucia - Saint Vincent and the Grenadines - Suriname - Trinidad and Tobago - United States - Uruguay - Venezuela -
Reports
Date:  11/29/2010 
XIX. PROMOTING ENVIRONMENTAL SUSTAINABILITY

57.Guyana established a commitment to work for the reduction of the negative impacts of climate change initially by becoming a sigatory to the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) at the Rio Earth Summit on the 13th June 1992, then ratifying the Convention on 17th November 1994 and acceding to the Kyoto Protocol on the 5th August, 2003.
58. Several institutions and a National Climate Committee (NCC) were set-up in light of the growing need for actions to be taken nationally to address the potential impacts of Climate Change for Guyan.
59.Guyana’s environmental policies have included strategies which support climate change adaptation and mitigation. For example, the introduction of the Environmental Protection Act and the Environmental Protection Agency in 1996 has contributed to signifcant improvements in the approach to the management of environmental issues in Guyana.
60.As part of its obligations to UNFCCC, the country prepared its Initial National Communication in Response to its Commitments to the UNFCCC (2002). A National Climate Change Action Plan and a National Climate Change Adaptation Policy and Implementation Plan, with focus on the low-lying Coastal Region were also prepared. The Second National Communication is currently being developed.

Paragraphs: 58 Paragraphs VII Summit: -

Date:  11/29/2010 
XIX. PROMOTING ENVIRONMENTAL SUSTAINABILITY

70. To support capacity building for REDD+ as part of the wider implementation of the LCDS, Guyana has embarked on a number key initiatives and activities. One key approach has been through many partnerships with other countries, groups and
organizations.
71.On November 9, 2009 a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) between the Governments of Norway and Guyana was signed regarding cooperation on issues related to the fight against climate hange, in particular those concerning REDD+. In the MoU it was agreed that Norway would provide Guyana with performance based payments for avoided deforestation which willamount to contributions of up to US$250 million by 2015.
72.Guyana’s REDD thrust is also supported through a World Bank Forest Carbon Partnership Facility (FCPF) project to support capacity building and readiness preparation for tapping into REDD climate funds and carbon market financingultimately.
73.Guyana joined 34 other countries in the Informal Working Group on Interim Financing for REDD+ (IWG-IFR), convened by His Royal Highness the Prince of Wales in April 2009. The group made proposals on how to achieve a 25 percent reduction in global deforestation rates by 2015 at a cost of between €15 and €25 billion. The country also works closely with groups such as the Coalition for Rainforest Nations(CFRN) to advocate for REDD+ and to build capacity.
74.Guyana has also made considerable progress internationally in negotiating its position on climate change through the UN and othr major processes. The country, along with likeminded countries, has been advocating for broadening the vision of REDD+ in the framework of a post-Kyoto mechanism, to include incentives for those countries with high forest cover and low deforestation rates (HFLD) countries. The country also negotiates on issues such as climate change financing, capacity building and adaptation support.
75.Guyana participated in Conferences leading to the 15th Conference of the Parties to the United Nations Framework Convention on limate Change (UNFCCC) held in Copenhagen in December 2009. The Copenhagen Accord which was developed at the end of the Conference highlighted that support for Reducing Emissions from Deorestation and Forest Degradation (REDD+) was important. There was also some progress in the development of technical aspects on REDD.
Paragraphs: 59 Paragraphs VII Summit: -

Date:  11/29/2010 
XIX. PROMOTING ENVIRONMENTAL SUSTAINABILITY

66.The Strategy has several important components. The first examines how Guyana can deploy its forests in mitigating climate change while also gaining financial and other suppot for doing so. The second examines how the country can move along a low carbon development path. The third examines the further protection of Guyana from the effects of climate change (adaptation). The LCDS aims to enable overall national development in the process.
67. Guyana’s LCDS highlights several key areas for action in creating a low carbon economy:
• Investment in low carbon economic infrastructure, including the development of hydropower to reduce reliance on non-renewable energy sources, the upgrading of sea defences to protect against future sea level rise, investment in high technology telecommunications facilities, and improving roads, drainage and irrigation to unused, non-forested land that can be converted to agriculture.
• Investment and employment in high-value, low carbon economic sectors, including the production of fruit and vegetables, aquaculture and sustainable forestry and wood processing.
• Continued capacity building of existing forest-dependent sectors, including forestry and mining, to ensure operating standards are sufficient to sustainably protect Guyana’s forests.
• Investment in low carbon business development opportunities such as business process outsourcing and ecotourism.
• Investment in communities and human capital, thereby ensuring that indigenous Amerindian communities and the broader
Guyana citizenry have improved access to health, education, renewable energy, clean water and employment, without threatening the sustainability of forest resources.
Paragraphs: 63 Paragraphs VII Summit: -

Date:  11/29/2010 
XIX. PROMOTING ENVIRONMENTAL SUSTAINABILITY

61. The country has placed the protection and sustainable management of its forest as a major national priority. The country’s pristine forests, which cover about 15 million hectares, or 80 percent of the country, are one of its most valuable natural assets. Guyana has had relatively low historical rates of deforestation of 0.1 percent to 0.3 percent. (UN FAO FRA 2005, Colchester 1999).
62.The forests contain a wealth of biodiversity and provide valuable ecosystem services, both at a local level. By enabling the
protection of its forests over many years, Guyana has managed to avoid significant green-house gas emissions into the
atmosphere that would have been otherwise produced through deforestation (tropical deforestation is a leading cause of
climate change, responsible for about 17% of global greenhouse gas emissions).
63.A major initiative taken by Guyana to address climate change was the launching of its Low Carbon Development Strategy
(LCDS) on June 8, 2009.
64.This Strategy sets out a new development path for the country that is based on Guyana deploying its forests to mitigate
global climate change and in return receiving payments from the world for the carbon service the forests provide, without
compromising the sovereignty over the forests or affecting the development prospects of the people.
65.With the implementation of the Strategy, the country can avoid cumulative forest-based emissions of 1.5 gigatons of CO2e (carbon dioxide equivalent which includes other greenhouse gases) by 2020 that would have been produced by an otherwise economically rational development path. Avoided deforestation will have positive effects on other critical environmental services Guyana’s forests provide to the worl in addition to carbon storage and sequestration, such as bio-diversity and ecosystem services.
Paragraphs: 64 Paragraphs VII Summit: -

Date:  11/29/2010 
XIX. PROMOTING ENVIRONMENTAL SUSTAINABILITY

76.Recognition and support for avoided deforestation have been possible to a large extent as a result of the country’s leadership n the area.

77.Guyana works along with Regional programmes and institutes which help to support capacity building for adaptation to climate chnge in the region.

78.Locally, an Office of Climate Change and Project Management Office has been set-up to provide institutional support to enable the effective implementation of the LCDS and other related activities.

79. Many sectors (such as mining and forestry) have already begun to integrate policies, legislations and programs in line with the LCDS requirements. For example, a REDD Secretariat has been set-up to build REDD+ capacity in Guyana.

80.Locally, to support the effective development of REDD+ and the wider LCDS, and to enable wide stakeholder involvement in the process, a number of key initiatives have been undertaken.

81.Since the launch of the draft LCDS, the document was subject of a national multi-stakeholder consultation and of extensive outreach sessions. Many educational and awareness sessions with wide stakeholder groups were held to raise awareness on the LCDS and to enable stkeholder involvement in the process.

82.The process and the review of the draft were overseen by a nationally representative steering committee and the process was montored by a respected international non-governmental organization.

Paragraphs: 58 Paragraphs VII Summit: -

Related Resources
NATIONAL REPORT OF GUYANA ON FOLLOW-UP AND IMPLEMENTATION OF THE MANDATES OF THE DECLARATION OF COMMITMENT OF THE V SUMMIT OF THE AMERICAS – PORT-OF-SPAIN (Guyana 2010)
NATIONAL REPORT OF GUYANA ON FOLLOW-UP AND IMPLEMENTATION OF THE MANDATES OF THE DECLARATION OF COMMITMENT OF THE V SUMMIT OF THE AMERICAS – PORT-OF-SPAIN (Guyana 2010)