Several Region 1 villages have signed the agreement to begin receiving funding for their Community Development Plans (CDPs) under the Amerindian Development Fund (ADF) of the Low Carbon Development Strategy (LCDS). Minister of Amerindian Affairs, Pauline Sukhai, on May 10 and 11 signed the agreement with the respective Toshaos of Kamwatta, Manawarin, Waikerabi, Barabina, Three Brothers, Baramita and Four Mile, during a visit to the region.
As members of the LCDS Multi Stakeholder Steering Committee, we are deeply concerned and disappointed at the action taken by the Parliament to cut the Low Carbon Development Strategy budget from 20 Billion to 1 Billon dollars. This cut will significantly affect LCDS Projects already in implementation as well as those planned for implementation in 2013. In addition to the Amaila Falls Hydroproject, the following LCDS projects will be adversely affected:
1. Institutional Strengthening in support of Guyana’s LCDS
2. Amerindian Development Fund
3. Amerindian Land Titling
4. Micro and Small Enterprise Development and Building Alternative Livelihoods for Vulnerable Groups
5. Biodiversity Research Centre
6. Adaptation Project
Cuts to the LCDS budget will affect projects to benefit the Amerindian and coastal population and lead to considerable reduction in the Government’s ability, in particular, capacities of primary institutions such as the Office of Climate Change, Project Management Office and the REDD Secretariat, to further advance the LCDS. The cuts will also have implications for Guyana’s continued performance under the Norway partnership and could place the next tranche of payment in jeopardy. Moreover, it would compromise Guyana’s leadership position in the international climate change agenda and cause unnecessary hardship to Guyanese.
The MSSC has contributed over the years to advance Guyana’s transition to a low carbon development path and this reduction in the LCDS budget will have a significant impact on this transition.
The MSSC is therefore calling on His Excellency the President and all Parliamentarians to work together to do what is necessary to ensure that the LCDS budget is restored urgently.
As members of the LCDS Multi Stakeholder Steering Committee, we have worked over the years to advance our country's transition to a low carbon development path. We are proud that Guyana is a world leader in creating a society which combines increased prosperity and development for all Guyanese with a transition to a low carbon, resilient economy based on renewable energy, sustainable land use and maintaining our forests.
We are proud of our role in getting the LCDS to a point where our early efforts are transitioning into real results for Guyana and its people.
In particular, we have supported action by the Governments of Norway and Guyana to put in place all the critical elements of the Guyana-Norway partnership on forest climate services, which is the second largest partnership of its kind in the world.
Our hard work is now in the process of materializing in particular, we note that:
- Amaila Falls Project is the single largest foreign investment in our country’s history, and will commence construction this year –bringing cheaper, more reliable electricity to Guyanese homes and businesses from 2017.
- Over 11,000 Amerindian households have received solar home systems from the Government, bringing many of them electricity for the first time.
- Economic sectors targeted in the LCDS are growing rapidly. For example, the business process outsourcing sector has more than doubled its employment since the LCDS was launched, and ecotourism in the Rupununi is growing at more than 20% per annum.
- The Ministry of Tourism Industry and Commerce has initialized Phase I of a US$10 million programme of support for micro and small businesses, targeting the creation of 2,200 low carbon jobs within two years.
- The Government has worked with Amerindian communities to address all but twelve land titling requests. These requests along with those for demarcation and extension will be addressed a within the next three years under the Amerindian Land Titling Project.
- 166 Amerindian communities/villages have created low carbon community development plans, and 27 of those start implementation this year, creating jobs and economic development in areas like manufacturing and ecotourism.
- Guyana has the world’s lowest deforestation rate, the world’s second largest Interim REDD+ partnership, and has earned US$115 million in payments for forest climate services – more than any other country in the world except Brazil.
- Guyana is on track to be the world’s most digitally inclusive society by 2016, with nearly 27,000 laptops distributed to families across Guyana who would otherwise be excluded from the ICT revolution, and more than 60,000 laptops and training still to come.
- Work is about to start on a plan for a US$100 million “once-in-a-generation” investment in protecting Guyana’s homes and farms from flooding.
Taken together, these measures are for the benefit of all Guyanese. We have worked, as Guyanese for many years to get to the point where all these initiatives have become realities, and any halt will be detrimental to all Guyanese.
We are concerned with the proposal by the parliamentary opposition that the budgetary allocations for the LCDS would be cut hence we are calling on all our country's politicians to act in Guyana's best interest by supporting the LCDS budgetary allocations to invest in a strategy which will deliver transformative benefits for our country.
His Excellency President Donald Ramotar President of Guyana
Bharrat Jagdeo Former President of Guyana
Minister Robert Persaud Ministry of Natural Resources and the Environment
Minister leslie Ramsammy Ministry of Agriculture
Minister Pauline Sukhai Ministry of Amerindian Affairs
Minister Ashni Singh Ministry of Finance
Shyam Nokta Office of the President
Kapil Mohabir Office of the President
Yvonne Pearson Ministry of Amerindian Affairs
Alfred King Ministry of Culture, Youth and Sports
Indarjit Ramdass Environmental Protection Agency (EPA
James Singh Guyana Forestry Commission
Pradeepa Bholanath Guyana Forestry Commission
Derrick John National Toshaos Council (NTC)
Edward Shields Guyana Gold and Diamond Miners Association
Ronald Webster Private Sector Commission
Peter Persaud The Amerindian Action Movement of Guyana (TAAMOG)
Pamela English The Amerindian Action Movement of Guyana (TAAMOG)
Ashton Simon The National Amerindian Development Foundation (NADF)
Rommel Simon The National Amerindian Development Foundation (NADF)
Colin Klautky Guyanese Organisation of Indigenous People (GOIP)
Michael Williams North Rupununi District Development Board (NRDDB)
Charles Hutchinson World Wildlife Fund
Paulette Bynoe University of Guyana
Hymawattie Lagan Women’s Affairs Bureau
Hilbertus Cort Forest Producers Association
Joseph Singh Individual Capacity
Annette Arjoon-Martins Individual Capacity
On February 27, 2013, the LCDS Micro and Small Enterprise and Building Alternative Livelihoods for Vulnerable Groups (MSE) project, funded by the Guyana REDD+ Investment Fund (GRIF), received IDB Board approval. The approval includes the release of US$5 million from the GRIF for the first phase of project execution which covers the initial two years.
The Government of Guyana has long recognised the importance of micro and small enterprises to the nation as well as the need to assist vulnerable persons and groups.
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