GEORGETOWN, Guyana: President Bharrat Jagdeo has been appointed to sit on a high-level United Nations (UN) panel set up to address financing for countries battling the effects of climate change.
The panel, which also includes the Prime Ministers of the United Kingdom, Ethiopia and Norway, was established by UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon.
Minister of Finance Dr. Ashni Singh said Jagdeo’s appointment is a privilege for the country, noting that there are few occasions when small countries like Guyana are afforded the opportunity to significantly influence policy making at the global level.
“Every time we go out and we participate in a meeting we are advocating a position in the national interest and I am pleased to see that our voice as a country, being led by the President, is being heard,” he said.
Lobbying efforts in Copenhagen last year were fervent and enabled the expansion of the Reduced Emissions on Deforestation and Forest Degradation (REDD) initiative to include countries, such as Guyana, that have low levels of deforestation.
The new initiative, REDD+, includes cutting deforestation rates, conservation of forest stocks, sustainable forestry management and expansion of forest stock.
Guyana also succeeded in sealing a Memorandum of Understanding with Norway for the receipt of US$250 million by 2015 in performance-based payments.
It represents one of the first attempts between a developed and a developing country to work together to implement a national scale model on how forests can be deployed to address climate change without compromising sovereignty or national development priorities.