DPI, GUYANA, Tuesday, August 08, 2017
The Guyana Forestry Commission (GFC) has received funding from Norway to continue with the second phase of the Guyana REDD+ Monitoring Reporting & Verification System (MRVS).
The first tranche of the US$6.63M funding has been released by the Norwegian Agency for Development Cooperation (NORAD) through Conservation International (CI) Guyana for the GFC to continue with the implementation of the MRV system.
On Monday, the GFC and CI Guyana officials met with Minister of Natural Resources, Raphael Trotman, to update him on the process.
Head of Planning and Development at GFC, Pradeepa Bholanath, explained that the funding will allow for the implementation of the MRVS. This second phase allows for the process to be more than a data source.
“In implementing the MRV…we’re not only giving out data in terms of percentages and numbers and statistics but we’ll be translating this to information, hopefully information that can help fuel decision making,” Bholanath said.
Guyana’s MRVS dates back to 1990 and tracks changes in the forest cover. However, the agreement between Guyana and Norway was formalised in 2009. The MRVS is the single largest project undertaken by the GFC and the funding extends to 2020.
Minister Trotman praised the collaboration between the GFC and CI Guyana to reduce carbon emissions and stave off deforestation and promote forest conservation. “We (the government) are very happy with the way in which this process is managed,” Minister Trotman said.
GFC’s Pradeepa Bholanath said the key challenge to implementing this new phase of the MRVS is time. “Our main ambition now would be to get the information out before…an area gets cleared. It’s a way to head off potentially damaging impacts on the forest,” Bholanath said.
She added that there must be greater interagency collaboration to ensure that the MRV information is effective. “To be able to make this useful not only triggering a payment from a bilateral agreement but now for it to see utility`within the walls of (these agencies),” Bholanath pointed out is a challenge that must be overcome in this second phase.
Already, there has been interest generated in the information from the MRSV. Bholanath noted the Guyana Lands and Surveys Commission (GLSC) is using the information in the formulation of a national land policy.
Additionally, the GFC recently shared information with the Guyana Energy Agency (GEA) on its digital elevation model. This will help inform the GEA on potential hydropower sites in the development of hydropower.
The GFC is also working closely with the National Agricultural Research and Extension Institute (NAREI) to explore mangrove areas and the manage those areas as measures against rising sea levels and flooding along the coast.
More importantly, the information could be used to guide the works of the Ministry of Natural Resources and the Protected Areas Commission.
Meanwhile, Vice President of CI Guyana and GFC board member, Dr. David Singh pointed out that Guyana has maintained its leadership internationally under the REDD+ initiative to keep carbon emissions low through forest conservation.
Dr. Singh added that the implantation of the MRVS “would reduce cost if we can do that and potentially could reduce a lot of angst and conflicts and even lives lost”.
By: Tiffny Rhodius