In November 2009, former President Bharrat Jagdeo and the former Minister of the Environment and International Development of Norway, Hon. Erik Solheim, signed a historic Memorandum of Understanding (MoU). In the agreement, Norway has committed in providing Guyana up to US$250M by 2015 for avoided deforestation once certain performance indicators are met. This agreement represents the first international commitment of financial support to the LCDS and was the first partnership of its kind between a developed and developing country. The payments are made based on performance reported by Guyana in the Annual Progress Reports.
Under the MoU, the guidelines for receiving payments and the obligations that Guyana must meet are specified in the accompanying Joint Concept Note (JCN). The MoU is now being implemented and the Government of Norway had since deposited US$150 million, in three tranches, in the World Bank for Guyana.
Norway has committed to providing Guyana up to US$250M to 2015, depending on Guyana’s delivery of results as measured against indicators of enabling activities and of REDD+ Performance.
Financial support will be channelled through a multi-contributor financial mechanism (the Guyana REDD+ Investment Fund, GRIF) for which the World Bank acts as Trustee. The commitment from Norway does not correspond to the maximum funding that Guyana expects to receive as forest payments, or Economic Value to the Nation. As indicated in the LCDS, the financial transfers accruing to the country are expected to scale up until the EVN is reached, but can happen only with the participation of other countries.
Receiving Payments from Norway
Payments from Norway are made performance-based against the two sets of indicators agreed under the MoU. The Office of Climate Change (OCC) and the Guyana Forestry Commission (GFC) are the two agencies responsible for preparing Guyana's reports on Indicators of Enabling Activities and REDD+ Performance Indicators respectively. The Governments of Guyana and Norway have agreed to have these reports independently verified and assessed as part of the process for receiving payments. Having satisfied the Indicators of the MoU, Guyana has already received five sets of performance based payments totalling US$ 190 million. The OCC and the GFC and currently in the process of preparing reports to facilitate the sixth tranche of payments.