– as GOG, EU signs ‘Forest Partnership’ MOU
The Government of Guyana and the European Union (EU) signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) on ‘Forest Partnership’ which will see the country receiving an initial €5 million grant to help with the preservation of its forest.
The signing was done between Natural Resources Minister, Vickram Bharrat and President of the European Commission, Ursula von der Leyen on the sidelines of the United Nations Climate Change Conference, COP27 being held in Sharm El-Sheikh, Egypt.
His Excellency Dr Irfaan Ali during his virtual address at the signing, said the MOU demonstrates Guyana and the EU’s shared values of sustainable forest management and the protection of the environment.
“It furthers the process of promoting the trade and legally produced timbers and timber products.
“The EU has been in the forefront of supporting our development efforts, including the areas of climate change, climate resilience, food security biodiversity protection, and forest management. This collaboration is continuing through the launch today of this forest partnership,” he noted.
The MOU has four main objectives; increasing the area of protected, restored or sustainably managed forests, including mangroves; increasing the number of forest-related jobs; maintaining the close-to-zero annual rate of deforestation of natural forests; and looking for ways to facilitate investment and trade in legal and sustainable wood products between Guyana and the EU.
The €5 million grant will support activities for Indigenous Peoples and local communities, small-scale producers, promoting sustainable trade in forest and agriculture commodities, and building capacity.
Youth and women are expected to play an important role in the planning and implementation of activities related to the partnership.
President Ali said thepartnership comes at a time when the world is concerned about the continuing adverse and devastating impacts of climate change.
The Guyanese head of state noted however that the partnership is underpinned by the recognition of the role of Guyana’s pristine forests to the health and wellbeing of the global environment.
Guyana’s forests constitute a part of the country’s rich natural capital and its abundant invaluable timber, minerals and priceless biodiversity.
“Our forests provide food and shelter and support the livelihoods of thousands of Guyanese families while being sustainably managed, as evident in Guyana having one of the world’s highest rates of forest cover,” he reminded.
As part of continued efforts to preserve the forest, Guyana launched a visionary Low Carbon Development Strategy (LCDS) 2030.
The LCDS details how the nation’s forest and biodiversity can be maintained, while the country expands green jobs, transition the domestic energy supply to clean and renewable energy sources and to the impact of climate change.
The Government of Guyana and the EU has shared a long and fruitful partnership, advancing work together and shared priorities and programmes, and environmental sustainability and forest governance.
The Forest Partnership with the EU places Guyana at the top of the world in terms of its protection of the rainforest.
President Ali noted that the partnership is timely and underscores the strong commitment to continuing the bold ambition and innovative programme on climate, environment and forests.