|Low Carbon Development Strategy|
On 8th June 2009 Guyana’s Low Carbon Development Strategy (LCDS) was launched. The Strategy outlines Guyana’s vision to promoting economic development, while at the same time combating climate change. The revised version was published on 24th May 2010 and subsequently the LCDS Update was launched on March 2013.
The Relevance of the LCDS
Since it is scientifically conclusive that one of the major contributors to global warming is tropical deforestation, Guyana has cemented its belief that addressing this issue has now become one of the global priorities for combating climate change. Guyana, like most low-lying coastal states, is vulnerable to the effects of climate change. However, given the fact that over 85% of the our country is covered in forest, we can play an important role in addressing the global problem of climate change and its effects. At the same time we recognise that we are a developing country and our forest resources are our principal natural asset which we can utilise to obtain revenue which we need for the growth and development of our country. The challenge, therefore, is whether we can maintain our forests to help in the global fight against climate change and receive financial resources for doing so. The Government of Guyana believes we can. However, to accomplish this goal effectively in the long term, Guyana needs a clear vision and a strategy. The Low Carbon Development Strategy (LCDS) provides this paradigm.
The LCDS Consultations and Awareness Sessions
Since the launch of the LCDS, over the period June to August 2009, there was an intense nationwide consultation and awareness programme to provide information and seek inputs from stakeholders. This process complies with international standards for which there was independent monitoring by the International Institute for Environment and Development (IIED). There have been 15 sub-national consultations across the country at which 222 communities were present and 3 285 persons attended (including the launch). These reports can be foundHERE.
Members of the Multi-Stakeholder Steering Committee act as LCDS facilitators and have continously conducted awareness session across Guyana. Additionally, continued stakeholder awareness sessions are being conducted by the Office of Climate Change (OCC). In 2013 sessions were held in Region 1 (Mabaruma, Maruca and Port Kaituma). Other sessions will be held region 7 , 8 and 9. Further, there will be sessions in other Hinterland regions and then sessions will commence for coastal regions including Region 10.
The Multi-Stakeholder Steering Committee
One of the benchmarks of the LCDS process has been the setting up of the LCDS oversight body, the Multi-Stakeholder Steering Committee (MSSC). This Committee represents a broad cross-section of stakeholders that include representatives from government, forestry, mining, indigenous NGOs, international NGOs, academia, youth, women, private sector and civil society. The Minutes of these meetings can be foundHERE.
In an effort to better inform MSSC members on the process and progress of the implementations of the LCDS and its initiatives, Quarterly Briefing Sessions are held and the minutes can be accessedHERE.
Implementing the LCDS
The Government has outlined how it aims to spend the funds deriving from the MoU with Norway and other funds that may become available.
Priority investments will be in: Amaila Falls equity; Amerindian Development Fund; Amerindian land titling; MSE and vulnerable groups sustainable livelihoods; International Centre for Biodiversity Research, Adaptation Project and other support for the LCDS.
Additional information of the priority projects is available on the website for the Guyana REDD+ Investment Fund (GRIF).