When it was agreed, the Guyana-Norway partnership was the second largest Interim REDD+ arrangement in the world – and for performance in the period 2009 to 2015, Guyana received a total of US$212.52 million dollars in payments to be invested in the LCDS.
In the absence of a UNFCCC REDD+ mechanism, Guyana and Norway sought to create a globally replicable model for a likely REDD+ mechanism. The model was built from nine building blocks. Together, they fulfilled three core functions:
- Earning Payments – Guyana was paid using a calculation based on independently verified delivery of forest climate services;
- Managing Payments – the Guyana REDD+ Investment Fund (GRIF), hosted by the World Bank, was the principal financial intermediary with an IDB Renewable Energy Account providing similar services; and,
- Investing Payments – the process for funding LCDS projects through a set of mutually agreed Partner Entities.
The Programme has been and continues to be an overall success. However, a few areas that have impacted its effectiveness include the slow pace of intermediation for transfer of resources, mixed successes working with partner entities, and slow pace in some cases of national implementation bodies.
The following table summarises Guyana’s earnings, plus associated investment income.
|ACTUAL PAYMENT (USD)|
|2009 Performance Payment||30,355,594|
|2010 Performance Payment||39,474,415|
|2011 Performance Payment||Combined with following year|
|2012 Performance Payment||80,034,965|
|2013 Performance Payment||43,886,657|
|Direct Disbursement for Capacity Building and EU-FLEGT Projects||14,815,886|
|Awaiting Disbursement from Norway||4,000,000|
|TOTAL RECEIVED FROM NORWAY||212,567,517|
|Investment Income – GRIF (World Bank Trustee Account)||3,200,000|
|Investment Income – IDB Renewable Energy Account||5,059,944|
|TOTAL AMOUNT AVAILABLE FOR INVESTMENT IN LCDS||220,827,461|
|2013 LCDS Theme||Project||Allocation (US$ million)||Expenditure (US$ million)||2021 Status|
|High Potential Low Carbon Sectors||Micro and Small Enterprise Development||5.1||5.1||COMPLETE|
|Hinterland Development||Amerindian Development Fund – Phases I and II||8.1||8.1||COMPLETE|
|Amerindian Land Titling||10.8||3.3||ONGOING|
|Human Capital||Institutional Strengthening||6.4||6.3||COMPLETE|
|Adaptation and Resilience||Cunha Canal Rehabilitation||3.4||3.3||COMPLETE|
|Climate Resilience Strategy and Action Plan||0.3||0.3||COMPLETE|
|Digital Infrastructure||ICT Access and e-Services, for Hinterland, Poor, and Remote Communities||17.0||4.2||ONGOING|
|Governance||Transforming Forest Management – MRV System||12.6||12.6||COMPLETE|
|Support for EU-FLEGT Implementation||1.7||1.7||COMPLETE|
|Sustainable Land Use Development and Management||14.8||5.2||ONGOING|
|Communication||LCDS Communication and Outreach||1.2||0.2||COMPLETE|
|Renewable Energy||Solar Power across various Regions||85||0||COMMENCING|
The Micro and Small Enterprise Development and Building Alternative Livelihoods for Vulnerable Groups project addressed two of the major bottlenecks that constrained the development of Micro and Small Enterprises (MSEs) and the ability of vulnerable groups to build alternative livelihoods in Guyana: i) limited access to finance and ii) limited technical and business skills.
Access to finance was addressed through (i) a credit guarantee facility where the project guaranteed at first 40%, and later up to 70%, of the collateral requirements for loans at participating financial institutions and (ii) a grant scheme to assist vulnerable persons with viable business propositions. The Government also worked with participating Commercial Banks to lower their interest rates from a range of 14% to 26% all the way to six percent for any entrepreneur who was approved for a loan for their low carbon venture under the project.
Lack of skills was addressed through a training voucher scheme which enabled MSEs to obtain necessary skills at existing training institutions. The project targeted MSEs who were in or who wished to transition to low carbon sectors. Seventeen low-carbon sectors were funded under the project:
- Two hundred and twenty-four loans were approved at a value of US$ 4,339,138 or approximately G$ 908,422,000. The percentage of loans by sector were as follows: 46.9% in professional and business services; 9.8% in fruits and vegetables; 12.1% in agriculture and agro-processing; 15.2% in arts and crafts; 5.4% in manufacturing activities; 2.2% in internet and computer based services; 2.2% in eco-tourism; 1.8% in sustainable forestry and wood processing; 0.9% in entertainment, music and the performing arts, 1.3% in aquaculture, 0.4% in apiculture, 0.4% in energy efficient transportation and logistics, 0.4% in low carbon energy production/ distribution, 0.9% in publishing and printing. Males represented 61% of the loan beneficiaries and females, 39%.
- Five hundred and ninety-one grants were approved at a value of US$ 891,055 or approximately G$ 184,002,830. The percentage of grants by sector were as follows: 40.6% in professional and business services; 22.8% in agriculture and agro-processing; 16.2% in fruits and vegetables; 6.8% in arts and crafts; 4.7% in manufacturing activities; 4.2% in internet and computer based activities; 1.0% in apiculture; 0.8% in sustainable forestry and wood processing; 1.0% in entertainment music and performing arts; 0.5% in eco-tourism; 0.8% in publishing and printing; and 0.3% in aquaculture). Males represented 38% of grant beneficiaries and females, 62%.
- A total of 4,482 people were trained in several areas including: basic business management skills, record keeping, packaging and labelling, a special course aimed at female entrepreneurs, climate smart agriculture, sustainable forestry plumbing, videography, photography, cosmetology, cookery, and craft. A total of 2,101 jobs were sustained and/or created in low-carbon sectors by the loans and grants under the micro and small enterprise development project (1,217 jobs from grants and 884 from loans).
The socio-economic development of Amerindians was supported through the implementation of two separate phases of the Amerindian Development Fund (ADF) project which funded the implementation of the Community Development Plans (CDPs) of Amerindian communities and villages.
The development of the CDPs was led by the communities and villages and approved at their Council meetings. The first phase funded 26 communities and villages and the second phase funded 154 communities and villages. The project aimed to strengthen the entrepreneurial and institutional capabilities of the village economies of Amerindian communities; improve linkages with the private sector to further develop value chains; and strengthen institutional frameworks to support local economies. CDPs implemented were categorised under the following sectors: agriculture, village infrastructure, tourism, manufacturing, village business enterprise, and transportation.
Between both phases of the project, the CDPs of 180 communities and villages were funded and implemented at an approximate value of US$4,412,540 or G$911,189,465.
To support the sustainability of CDPs, the project sought to improve linkages with the private sector to further develop value chains and strengthen institutional frameworks to support local economies. As a result, beneficial connections with several agencies and institutions, including the Small Business Bureau (SBB); Guyana Livestock and Development Agency (GLDA); Guyana Tourism Authority (GTA); National Agricultural Research and Extension Institute (NAREI); Regional Democratic Councils (RDCs); New Guyana Marketing Corporation (NGMC); Guyana Technical Institute (GTI); Global Seafood Distributors; Georgetown Chamber of Commerce and Industry (GCCI); and the Guyana Energy Agency (GEA) were made. Workshops and seminars were held, along with technical capacity building sessions for communities and villages. The CDP database generated over the life of the project was also shared with various agencies and institutions. The database lists all grant recipients, types of CDPs, typologies, villages, tranches disbursed, dates, population, and other particulars.
Community Development Officers (CDOs) were trained in monitoring and financial accounting techniques and Community Management Teams (CMTs) were trained to prepare budgets, financial reports and provided with business management, marketing and leadership techniques training.
In addition to the various training and capacity building sessions, support was also given to specific CDPs based on needs assessment, in the form of intensive Cluster Training Sessions in cattle management, fish culture, business operations and woodworking.
Amerindians total approximately 14 percent percent of Guyana’s population and currently own in excess of 15.65 percent of Guyana’s territory, up from about six percent in the early 1990s.
The Amerindian Land Titling (ALT) Project, which is ongoing, seeks to accelerate the legal demarcation and titling of Amerindian lands. The ownership of land empowers and allows Guyana’s first peoples the liberty to engage in and promote investments towards their own social and economic advancement.
Under the ALT project:
- Thirteen villages were issued with absolute grants, bringing the total number of Amerindian villages titled with Absolute Grants to 109
- Twenty-one villages were demarcated and 19 were issued with certificates of title in what is the final step in the titling process. This brought the total number of villages demarcated and issued with Certificates of Titling to 96.
The principle of Free, Prior and Informed Consent (FPIC) continues to be an important and respected principle that is applied to ensure that under the project, Amerindians are provided with enough information well in advance of planned or proposed activities to allow communities and villages to agree or consent to the execution of those activities.
Under the project, over 210 persons were trained in FPIC to ensure that not only do Amerindians understand the rights that are theirs but, importantly, for other stakeholders to recognise and understand those rights and practically apply the principle of FPIC during project implementation.
A communication strategy was formulated under the project and associated activities involved the distribution of communication materials (including brochures and flyers on the titling process), radio and television broadcasts, documentaries on titling activities, and workshops throughout communities and villages in the various regions. Many of the communication materials were translated into the different Amerindian languages.
A grievance redress mechanism was established as an alternative for helping to resolve land titling disputes. Twenty-three persons were trained as GRM liaisons, 254 community members were trained in mediation and 328 persons were part of cluster awareness exercises on the core function of the GRM.
The Institutional Capacity in Support of Guyana’s LCDS project was implemented to further enhance national institutional capacity in Guyana to address the impacts of Climate Change through the effective implementation of the LCDS, and to assist Guyana in meeting its commitments under interim REDD+ partnerships. The specific objectives of the project were: (i) to strengthen the technical and administrative capacity of the principal institutions responsible for implementing Guyana’s Low Carbon Development Strategy, namely the Office of Climate Change (OCC), the Project Management Office (PMO) and the Guyana Forestry Commission (GFC); and (ii) develop and implement a Monitoring Reporting and Verification System on a national level.
Under the project:
- A total of 156 communication and outreach sessions on climate change, the LCDS and REDD+ were conducted;
- The development and implementation of a mechanism for a national scale Monitoring, Reporting and Verification System was supported;
- Methodologies for determining the extent and scale of forest degradation were developed and a digital database of archived satellite data and national spatial data sets were established;
- Historical and current drivers and processes affecting forest carbon levels were assessed and implementation plans for long term measurements and monitoring of national forest carbon stocks were developed;
- Within the REDD+ Secretariat, eight technical staff were trained in the area of forest carbon stocks and change assessments, fourteen field staff were trained in forest carbon monitoring systems; and six staff were trained in GIS and Remote Sensing;
- Multiple reports and areas of research were advanced by the Guyana Forestry Commission, including: Assessment Report in Current Drivers and Processes Affecting Forest Carbon; Report on Independent Forest Monitoring; MRVS Interim Measures Report for Year Three; Report on Identification of Non-Carbon Ecosystem Services for Integration into Guyana’s National MRVS Assessment; Report on Shifting Agriculture; Report on Assessment of Requirements of a Monitoring System for Carbon as well as Non-Carbon Variables;
- A strategy for a national scale Opt-in Mechanism was completed. The Opt-in Mechanism is viewed as an innovative approach intended to help Amerindians to “opt-in” to the national REDD+ mechanism.
- An institutional diagnostic study of the Environmental Protection Agency was completed.
About 39% of Guyana’s population and 43% of GDP are in regions exposed to significant flooding risk, and extreme weather events that are increasing in frequency. These extreme weather events – including the floods of 2005 – demonstrated the significance of the risks posed by inhibited drainage capacity of the East Demerara Water Conservancy (EDWC) which is one of Guyana’s most important natural drainage and irrigation and flood control mechanisms.
The EDWC is a large shallow reservoir that covers an area of 571KM2 and stores approximately 250 million cubic metres of water at the maximum safe operating level. The EDWC protects various parts of Guyana, including Georgetown, the East Coast and East Bank areas – preventing flooding and providing agricultural lands and urban areas with irrigation and drinking water.
The Cunha Canal is one of the canals or channels that supports the drainage of the EDWC into the Demerara River and helps to prevent the risk of water levels exceeding the safe operating level of the EDWC dam through overtopping or catastrophic breaching and flooding.
Around 1990, the Cunha Canal was diverted from its original alignment to a smaller discharge channel. This diversion reduced the discharge capacity of the canal, and it went into disuse soon afterwards. The discharge through the canal was re-established during the 2005 flood but with a limited capacity as it was affected by circuitous routing and structural limitations.
The Cunha Canal Rehabilitation project was a major adaptation project to increase the capacity of the canal to drain the EDWC, as well as local agricultural areas surrounding the canal. The project aimed to support a more climate resilient economy in Guyana, reduce the vulnerability of catastrophic flooding in Guyana’s low-lying coastal area, and prevent significant losses to human lives, crops, and livestock.
The Cunha Canal Rehabilitation Project included: (i) the re-routing of the canal along its original straight alignment, widening it to approximately 66 feet, and excavating to remove the build-up of sediments and weeds to allow for a straight flow into the Demerara River that eliminates hydraulic restrictions; (ii) rehabilitation of the former outlet structure or sluice to control the discharge of water and prevent river water from entering the canal during high tide; and (iii) the construction of a bridge on the East Bank of Demerara Public Road where the canal intercepts the road.
The adverse, and potentially catastrophic impacts of climate change are already being experienced in Guyana. Since the 1960s, Guyana has observed marked increases in temperatures, sea levels and the frequency and intensity of extreme rainfall events. The impacts on Guyanese people, society, economy and environment during flooding events in 2005, 2006, 2008, 2010, 2011, 2013, 2014 and 2015 and the droughts of 1997-1998, 2009-2010 and 2015-2016 are poignant examples of the devastation climate change may cause. Flooding in 2005, for example, caused damage estimated at US$465 million (60% of GDP at that point) and during the drought in April 2015 potable water had to be trucked into communities in Regions One and Nine. Guyana has been described as being ‘particularly vulnerable’ to climate change because of high levels of exposure and sensitivity to climate risks and limited capacity to adapt.
The Climate Resilience Strategy and Action Plan (CRSAP) identified key climate risks and priority resilience building actions and aimed to provide a comprehensive and overarching framework for adapting and building resilience to climate change impacts. The Strategy and Action Plan are underpinned by the five cross-cutting pillars of adaptation identified in Guyana’s Second National Communication to the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC), namely information, research and systematic observation; institutions and capacity building; policy and legal frameworks; infrastructure and technology; and finance.
The CRSAP identified that climate change will create serious and high magnitude risks for all 15 sectors assessed in Guyana. There are 43 serious risks that are relevant now and projected for the 2030s, with four additional serious risks projected for the 2030s only. These serious risks are spread across 13 different sectors. Seventeen risks could have catastrophic impacts and a further 22 risks are almost certain to occur. Four risks have been identified with the combination of catastrophic consequences and almost certain likelihood; these are found in the agriculture, indigenous peoples and housing sectors.
These risks can, however, be mitigated and the CRSAP identified sectoral resilience objectives and actions to address all risks highlighted that are relevant now and into the 2030s. Work will commence on implementing the resilience objectives aimed at addressing risks based on identified risk level and priority.
Fostering sustainable development in the Hinterland and vulnerable areas is one of the core priority outcomes of Guyana’s Low Carbon Development Strategy (LCDS). A key component in achieving such an outcome is the provision of public services and information via the deployment and use of new Information and Communications Technologies (lCTs).
The ICT Access and e-Services for Hinterland, Poor, and Remote Communities Project is still ongoing and aims to provide the necessary infrastructure, equipment, hardware, and software necessary to enable access to high-quality ICT, training and e-services in all parts of Guyana, with particular attention given to vulnerable groups and remote communities who might otherwise be excluded. The project will provide the supporting capacity to create linkages to generate inter-sectoral benefits in areas such as education, health and business. The goals of the project include the development of a digital knowledge-based society, enhancement of national efficiency and competitiveness, and the promotion of inclusive and sustainable growth and development.
Ninety Very Small Aperture Terminals (VSATs) — which are two-way satellite ground stations with a dish antenna used to provide internet access to remote locations — were procured and installed in communities and villages. Additionally, 180 solar systems were procured to provide the necessary energy to power the ICT equipment at the hubs and any additional equipment/appliances using the extra capacity.
From 2021, ICT hubs will be established in 200 communities and villages. Each hub will be equipped with printers and televisions, as well as 20 laptops and software.
Also, under the project, consultancies were commenced to conduct a comprehensive capacity assessment of the National Data Management Authority (NDMA); map current ICT deployment and capacities in the public sector; and to undertake a multi-dimensional capacity assessment of public institutions that will offer e-services, identifying gaps and bottlenecks in the process. The following reports were completed:
- Baseline Report focused on market research looking at Guyana’s profile, education, health, business, and as-is analysis of technical infrastructure and regulation;
- Technical Report looking at technology assessment, design options for Guyana, commercial assessment of solutions, proposed Guyana solution, rollout phases, stakeholder analysis, business models, implication for legislation and policy development, and an implementation plan;
- E-Services Readiness Assessment Report on important service needs, status quo of e-services readiness today, vision of e-services offered by government agencies, and description of selected e-services.
The Joint Concept Note (JCN) between the Government of Guyana (GoG) and the Government of the Kingdom of Norway identified the stepwise and progressive development of Guyana’s Monitoring Reporting and Verification System (MRVS) and outlined the mechanism for receiving financial payments for Guyana’s provision of forest carbon-based services. These payments are result-based and dependent upon, among other indicators, deforestation and forest degradation measured against an agreed reference level.
While the project had several stages over nine years, the overall goal of the project in the initial years – 2010 to 2015 – was to establish a sustained MRVS for implementing REDD+ policies and to receive results-based compensation for such activities in the long-term in a way that built the capacity of the GFC, contributed to Guyana’s low-carbon development pathway, and supported the sustainable development of natural resources. More specifically, the project aimed to further build capacity in the GFC to carry out forest cover and change monitoring and forest carbon monitoring/ measurement in fulfillment of the MRVS Roadmap and to build stakeholder awareness and participation in the successful design and implementation of the MRVS as an essential tool for the implementation of the LCDS, and in overall sustainable forest management.
The continued development and implementation of Guyana’s MRVS for 2016 to 2021 maintained its focus on the implementation and further development of the key technical areas of forest area change assessment and monitoring and forest carbon measurement and monitoring. Emphasis was placed on improvements in the emissions and removals reporting, and application of the system to improve forest management.
Over the years Guyana’s MRVS has become an internationally acclaimed model, viewed as one of the best globally. Over the years the following were important areas of achievements under the projects:
- Mapping and assessment of changes in forest area were conducted;
- Satellite data coverage of Guyana at a national scale was acquired;
- Independent accuracy assessments for forest maps and change estimates were conducted;
- A systematic national forest carbon measurement system was designed and implemented;
- Emission factors for main forest degradation drivers were established and uncertainty assessments conducted;
- Areas for future development of the MRVS to include additional aspects and to reduce uncertainties and efficiencies were assessed;
- The use of evolving technologies for REDD+ within Guyana’s MRVS was explored;
- Modelling activities to inform a reference level for REDD+ for Guyana was conducted;
- The methodology for treatment of shifting cultivation was improved;
- Foundations and data sources for a REDD+ safeguard information system were developed.
The Sustainable Land Development and Management project remains ongoing. Its goal is to establish an enabling environment for promoting sustainable and climate-resilient land development, management and reclamation.
This will be achieved through, among other things, the development of a harmonised national land policy and legislative framework, strengthened capacity of the Guyana Lands and Surveys Commission (GLSC), the design and development of an integrated and robust spatial data infrastructure, as well as an open-data geospatial information system. The overall outcome will be to support improved land administration, enhanced governance of tenure, in addition to improved technical support services and mechanisms to encourage adoption of sustainable and climate-smart land use systems and management practices. The project will strengthen the application and enforcement of regulations, land use planning, incentive measures, knowledge sharing, as well as assessment and monitoring in line with the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs).
Under the project:
- Legal reviews of land related legislations have commenced and the legal capacity of GLSC was strengthened with law resources to support the GLSC Legal Division;
- The Standard Operating Procedures for Land Administration are pending revision to increase efficiency of land administration processes;
- The National Spatial Data Infrastructure (NSDI) Action Plan was completed and the National Spatial Data Infrastructure and geospatial platform is being established. This will enhance the accessibility, communication, and use of geospatial data to support a wide variety of evidence-based decisions at all levels to support sustainable land management in Guyana.
- The Session of the Committee for the Review of the Implementation of the Convention (CRIC 17) of the United Nations Convention to Combat Desertification (UNCCD) was hosted in Georgetown, and for the first time in the English-speaking Caribbean;
- Development commenced for the five-year Strategic and Business Plan for GLSC;
- The process of development for the National Land Policy was been initiated. Consultations with 27 government institutions were completed to identify land sector challenges, assess the policy demand and agree on a process and structure to develop the National Land Policy;
- The re-mapping of Guyana using LIDAR technology commenced;
- Land tenure information systems, processes and user capacities were reviewed;
- Infrastructural capacity of GLSC was increased through procurement of communications, IT, and other equipment;
- Human capacity of the GLSC was strengthened through recruitment, attendance of GLSC staff at international conferences and workshops, and enrollment in relevant diploma programmes at the University of Guyana;
- An MOU was signed between UG and GLSC for the delivery of a Diploma Programme in Land Administration;
Regional outreaches were conducted in Regions three, four, six and 10 to address land tenure and governance issues for hundreds of citizens and clients of the Commission.